Our View: GOP antidote?

Posted: March 27, 2013

For anyone interested in the future of the Republican Party, however moribund that “grand old” institution may appear at the moment, Thomas Sowell’s column at right is a must-read. The piece speaks to the party’s problem (oddly posing as a solution) of embracing “me too” politics. If only we can be more like Democrats, the GOP pooh-bahs seem to be saying — a bad thing, in terms of policy, from our perspective.

Whereas Mr. Sowell commendably identifies the root of Republican entropy, National Review editor Rich Lowry presents a possible antidote: The GOP could use a few more Jack Kemps. That is, a few “political entrepreneurs” unafraid to challenge or even ignore the orthodoxies of the moment and “evangelize for new ideas.”

Mr. Lowry, we might advise, should best be careful what he wishes for: Those “new ideas” he seeks should, and must, bear a conservative stamp. But we do agree that entrepreneurial energy and enthusiasm are needed, of the sort Mr. Kemp brought to his “happy warrior” pursuits.

The question is: Who among the new breed is capable of bringing such fire to the cause? Marco Rubio does come to mind, as do such innovative governors as Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal. And so, still, does Paul Ryan.

The most intriguing possibility in the minds of many, of course, is Rand Paul — but only, we say, if he sheds some of his (apparently genetic) libertarian baggage, such as proposals to legalize certain drugs. But that might be asking him to be something less than he authentically is.