Kinder, Gentler Losers

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: In 1980, 1984 and 1988, Republicans carried 44, 49 and 40 states respectively. The last two elections, that's dropped to 18 and 19 states. Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis isn't happy.

I'm tired of being a kinder, gentler loser. And there's nothing wrong with the Republican Party that a good dose of principle wouldn't cure.

The next Republican presidential candidate must believe in the creation of wealth, not its redistribution.

That balancing the budget in seven years is not the primary goal of the party, but that creating more opportunity is. That means increasing individuals' economic opportunity, and letting them keep more of what they earn.

That the individual is superior to, not a client of, the state.

That the government draws its legitimacy from us, not the other way around.

That enhancing liberty is more important than enforcing equality.

That individual responsibility for our acts, not governmental excusing of them, is the cultural basis of our society.

And that the government must cease what C.S. Lewis called nearly half a century ago "the vast overall movement toward the discrediting of every kind of human excellence - moral, cultural, social or intellectual."

The Republican Party won on principle in 1980 and governed that way for eight years. Then it was abandoned and they lost.

They won big again with principle embodied in the Contract with America. Then Bob Dole, a man with genuine principles, argued them in such an offhand manner that Bill Clinton got a free pass.

Kinder, gentler Republicanism has lost two elections. Principle will win the next one.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Some people just never learn....tomorrow, a story about a health care plan bound for disaster.