Open Forum: A party of ideas, again?

Posted: February 28, 2014

Two Americas exist, but not in the way liberals like President Obama constantly proclaim. The country has not been divided by wealth, race, or lifestyle. Instead, our population has been made into two camps — those who work hard and play by the rules and those in Washington who use corrupt connections and influence to get ahead.

Americans have watched their wages stagnate while Washington fat cats preen and paw to win lucrative government contracts. All of this has occurred at the expense of future generations who will be forced to pay our skyrocketing national debt.

Liberalism has failed. For the United States to succeed again, Republicans must regain their backbone and speak for our fellow citizens instead of corporate lobbying groups. We cannot start fixing the country until we mend the Republican Party by nominating conservatives who are focused on changing the status quo in Washington rather than scratching the backs of the special interests.

Over the last two election cycles — led by a younger, newer group of principled politicians — conservatives across the country have labored to take back their party. The ideals of limited government have acted as a tonic to shake the lethargy of the entrenched Republican establishment. The revitalization of the country can only come from the Republican Party being the party of ideas again.

Most in our community recognize that preventing lobbyists from controlling the ideas discussed in Congress serves as the first step to reclaiming Washington for the people. Too often, however, Republicans simply say we need more rules and regulations to stop corruption. These politicians essential argue we should solve the problems caused by big government by putting into place an even bigger government. They tip their caps to reform, hoping that voters are satisfied with effort instead of results. They keep the revolving door between lobbyists and the Capitol wide open, believing that the public will not notice.

It does not have to be this way. I believe our Constitution guides us toward solutions. Our Founding Fathers acknowledged that the states would always spend the people’s money better than the federal government. The 10th Amendment offers a way to stop the corruption running rampant in federal spending.

In contemporary politics, no one understood that concept more than Ronald Reagan. In the 1980s, he proposed offering block grants to the states as a method to make Medicaid and Medicare more efficient and less prone to graft. He knew the people, at the local level, would check federal waste when given the opportunity.

We should apply that notion toward other modes of federal spending. We can stop lobbyists from buying our politicians by granting governors and local legislators more control over how federal projects develop. We can offer incentives to states that will turn them into powerful overseers of federal spending, helping curb Washington’s appetite for waste.

Powerful lobbying firms and corporations should not be allowed to drown out the voices of the taxpayers. Conservatives should insist that limited government creates a fair society of citizens empowered with the opportunity to create the most out of their lives. Using the 10th Amendment to restrain corruption in congressional spending would be a good start.

Rob Wasinger, a resident of Fairfax Station, is a Republican candidate for the 10th Congressional District to replace retiring Rep. Frank Wolf.