Some conservatives have proposed a Ten Commandments-style litmus test for those wanting to be 2010 candidates under the Republican banner.
Why? Why not!
A political party really should be a coherent philosophy that voters accept or reject via elections.
Some conservatives have proposed a checklist of 10 items that Republican candidates need to support in 7 out of 10 categories in order to receive party funding and endorsement.
I can live with a ‘core beliefs’ checklist. It makes good sense to me.
However, I want modification of the 10 ‘Thou shalls’. As written they are largely meaningless; i.e., they do not clearly identify a policy statement leading to a well defined outcome. In some cases they are just nonsensical when applied to the real world.
Below are my proposed edits to the 2010 Republican Litmus Test:
Litmus Belief #1
Original: For smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits, and lower taxes (opposing the “stimulus”)
Proposed: Minimalist government that lives within a balanced budget and that services national debt within 10 years of debt incurrence.
Litmus Belief #2
Original: For market-based health care reform (opposing the other kind)
Proposed: For market-based health care reform that removes barriers to ‘open season’ enrollment by individuals whether they are personally or corporately purchasing health insurance. Tax equality for all health insurance policy purchases.
Litmus Belief #3
Original: Against cap-and-trade legislation
Proposed: Supports green legislation that rewards certifiable reductions of pollutants by 2% per year via tax credits.
Litmus Belief #4
Original: Against card check union formation
Proposed: Supports Right-to-Work and the right to secret ballots.
Litmus Belief #5
Original: Against amnesty for illegal immigrants
Proposed: Against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Supports creation of a ‘Seasonal Guest Worker’ visa with all workers paid not less than local community cost-of-living standards.
Litmus Belief #6
Original: For military-recommended troop increases in Iraq and Afghanistan
Proposed: Delete this. No Republican president would ever accept formulation of military policy by a military commander. This is just plain stupid.
Litmus Belief #7
Original: For containment of Iran and North Korea
Proposed: Delete this. This says nothing. If it cannot be turned into a one sentence policy statement that equates to an actionable outcome then … such statements are counterproductive.
Litmus Belief #8
Original: For retention of the Defense of Marriage Act
Proposed: Delete this. I do believe in large part that it is appropriate if it is what most Republicans believe. However, the definition of marriage and the ability to define marriage is a constitutionally protected state’s right. No state should concede this authority to national authority.
Litmus Belief #9
Original: Against abortion and health-care rationing
Proposed: Abortion is a states rights issue which should be decided accordingly by the individual states. (Health-care mumbo jumbo has no place here. See #2 above. The (free) market will impose/already does impose its own rationing.)
Litmus Belief #10
Original: Against gun control
Proposed: Support the second constitutional amendment as meaning that each American has the right to own, to carry and to use arms.
Using my proposed rewording, I could live with a party that required that I only meet 7 out of the 10 in order to claim membership in good standing.
Since I threw out four of the 10 litmus tests then there is room yet for adding some meaningful items that define what is a Republican.
This blog by Bill Golden, Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent fed up with party politics but friendly to the concept of smaller government, maximum personal freedoms, Main Street over Wall Street, fiscal responsibility and community first.