Most Republicans opposed the Covid lockdowns and mandates. Most Republicans spoke-out against “defund the police.” Republicans warned of the dangers of canceling the Keystone Pipeline — and plans to end the production of gas-powered cars. Republicans have been relentless in making the case against our un-secure southern border, allowing countless undocumented people coming through. 

And when it comes to our children, Republicans and their allies have spoken out against Covid school-closures, forced masking and vaccine mandates, boys and girls sharing locker rooms and restrooms, CRT curriculum, sexually explicit books in school libraries, eliminating honors programs, emails directing school staff to keep certain secrets about students from their parents, and teachers discussing their personal lives and politics with their students.

Democrat politicians and their allies have been busy implementing their agenda at every level of government in every facet of our lives. Republicans have been speaking out and fighting back.

And therein lies the problem.

Democrats have been telling us what they are for — their agenda for the environment, economy, criminal justice, education, sex-education, culture and the role of government. What America should look like. They have been playing offense, leading the discussion and setting the agenda. They are “progressive.”

The net effect in the suburbs — communities that are not (yet) solidly Democrat, or Republican — is that Democrats are seen as having an agenda trying to improve or re-imagine every facet of America.

Republicans are seen and heard as the party opposing the Democrats never-ending, wide-ranging agenda. Republicans are the party defending the status quo. Republicans have become the party of “no!” And, at times, it’s an angry “no.”

I’ve written columns, done radio interviews, posted on social media, given speeches and was even called to run for office because I saw the Democrats’ far left agenda, policies and priorities as wrong, even harmful.

It’s not that we disagree on how to accomplish similar goals; it’s that many Democrats and Republicans have very different goals, different visions and different priorities. The unfortunate part for Republicans is that the Democrats have been playing offense in every facet of our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined even ten years ago.

To win elections and to govern successfully, Republicans need to play offense. It won’t be enough simply to be better at communicating what we oppose, or explaining why Democrat ideas are bad or harmful. Republicans must start with sharing a vision of what America should look like and how we get there; the same for our state and our community — and a commitment that every American should be given the opportunity to succeed. 

The Democrats offer a vision of government that can offer everyone everything. There’s always a crisis — and a solution. Another law for this and that. They just need some more money, a few more regulations and another government agency. We may have to pay more money or give up some freedom, but the government will provide and protect.

We must remind our neighbors that a government that is big and strong enough to give you everything they promise is powerful enough to take away everything you need.

The progressive Democrat Party wants to do what President Obama proclaimed: to “radically transform the United States of America.” Republicans rightfully should oppose that agenda, especially when the ideas will make our economy weaker, our nation less-secure and our children less-prepared to achieve the American Dream.

Yet a successful Republican Party must effectively communicate to voters what we are for. Tell them our goals, priorities and plans — what America could and should look like.

We want Americans to have the highest quality of life. We want a vibrant, economically diverse, energy independent, growing economy, with clean air, water and land to grow our food and raise our children — with an ability for our children to learn the skills necessary to do even better than us. 

We want our communities and our nation to be safe. We want to be connected with the nations of the world, but never dependent on our enemies. We must be strong enough to defend America, and to aid our allies. 

Our ideas are better. They are sustainable principles based in common sense. They are tried and true. Let’s tell our neighbors: we believe that America should be that “shining city on a hill,” where our generation and all children are given the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Guy Ciarrocchi is a columnist for Broad & Liberty and Real Clear Politics (PA), and policy and strategic communications advisor—and a softball coach in his 24th season. @GuyCiarrocchi

9 thoughts on “Guy Ciarrocchi: The Republican Party needs an agenda”

  1. (hands waving) Pick me! Pick me! I know!
    The Rs stand for denying women, POC and the LGBTQ+ community their rights. They also stand for gutting public education and letting various industries destroy our environment. You know, for “freedom.”

  2. Republicans could initiate a meaningful discussion of elementary and secondary education. The education environment consists of traditional public schools and their charters, as well as their private counterparts and home schools. Develop a comprehensive approach to education that encompasses and acknowledges all of them rather than the current political model that pitas one delivery system against another. We have heard the buzzwords about STEM for going on two decades now. Where has the progress been demonstrated. If STEM education is indeed important, how much of the education dollar is being spent on it and what are the results. As a college (undergrad and grad) instructor I regularly encounter college students who are functionally ill-equipped to handle quantitative course material. I do not see substantial results from all that has been attempted so far.

  3. The GOP stands for plenty of things:

    “Hanging” their political opponents like conservative Mike Pence

    Adding 11 trillion to the national debt through their endless wars in the middle east plus another 7 trillion by their demi-god great leader.

    Censoring political opponents and journalists on Twitter (only on the left of course, right-wingers are free to incite riots because free speech)

    Kidnapping governors they disagree with

    Censoring teachers and banning books

    Treading on states rights when it comes to environmental and communications legislation they disagree with.

    Trying to steal elections by having election officials “find votes”

    They stand for so many things.

  4. If Republicans want to win back voters by having voters perceive them as standing for the things you state in your article, then they have to refute the old guy and his MAGA agenda before laying out their vision for America. But they don’t, because they can’t get out of the primaries if they do that; instead they approve of him, or dance around him and saying its time to look to the future, not the past. So you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Good luck; my advice is grow a spine like Liz Cheney or Larry Hogan and win or lose at least you can look at yourself in the mirror.

  5. Guy – as I recall you were the only candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary who actually visited and campaigned in West Philadelphia. The Party needs more of its leadership to engage the Black and Latino communities and listen and learn. They are not monoliths

  6. The Republican Party now has a Presidential Candidate with the Wisdom, Charm, and Resume to provoke a Campaign on Ideas that lead to Positive Changes and Results.

    Vivek Ramaswamy espouses all the Hopes and Dreams that this Blogger cries for, and is a Refreshing Candidate.

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