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Remember when being a card-carrying Republican (R) would raise eyebrows in suspicion that you are a dedicated corporate buffoon or country club member in a Lacoste Polo Shirt?  I dont either because that was 1980s and before and I was enjoying playing cops and robbers in the streets and selling lemonade.  Both of those things never happened.   Anyways, I was told by thoughtful friends and family that pulling a lever for a Republican on Election Day was a vote for the rich who didnt give a damn about those less fortunate.  Reverse forward to 2009.  Post-election, Post-Bailout, the social conservative element of the Republican party still dominates much of its core philosophical beliefs.  One would think that such a disastrous result for the Party in November would have meant a serious rethinking and a bit of navel-gazing of where we stand to retake this country from the liberal hordes in Congress and in the executive branch promising higher future taxes and a softer stick in foreign policy.  But nothing meaningful has resulted.  Just more oldspeak:  Cutting taxes is the best path to prosperity. Media and political elites have it out for you.   By the way, why the anti-elitism?  Republicans should embrace elitism.  Remember, this was the party of the rich who would drive by in golf carts with Rolls-Royce engines while giving you the finger, downing a mint julep, while your poor ass gets by in a hooptie because you didn’t get the tax cut that they received.  Instead, Democrats are the new party of the rich.  David Brooks pointedly remarks on this dramatic demographic shift that has taken place in the past two decades.  The educated class, the leaders in science and business- they all dramatically support Obama’s, and subsequently, the Democratic Party’s rise.  And with the vitriolic remarks of Sarah Palin during her acceptance speech at the RNC this year about the east-coast elite which is fundamentally at odds with middle america’s concerns, the Republicans have thoroughly embraced a new politics of resentment.  Instead of offering solutions for an America that spans both coasts, both rich and poor, the RNC continues its old ways.  If the Republicans have any chance of winning back voters in 2010 and 2012,  we must have leadership less in the mold of Sarah Palin and more of a Benjamin Disraeli.  Instead of embracing an embittered populism which will ultimately leave our nation more divided and less secure, we need a leadership that will invest in a future where the more fortunate will take the role of protecting all members of society, rich and poor.  Benjamin Disraeli, former 19th century Prime Minister of Britain envisioned a similar relationship as a way to move forward as a nation.  We need to take the latest initiatives by our government of promoting a private-public partnership as a means to resolving some of the troubles we now face as a positive step.  There will be no survival private industry/capital in the future if the government crowds out the free flow of capital and overregulates as compensation for previous failures of the market to self-regulate.   Thus, a new Republican agenda should make clear that business and government must constantly interact and that the two need not have mutually exclusive interests.  The GOP must elect to leadership roles, individuals who understand this need and emphasize the hisorically unique moment before us.  In order for government to work, its role must be effective and transparent- two necessary elements of a successful business.  Also, the need for government to be flexible and innovative is key.  This could mean less government officials.  Less programs.  More risk-taking in policy initiatives.  In short, industry should private a conduit for education of government.  And government’s noble task of serving the common good must enter the corporate lexicon, in order for our businesses to be more competitive in the future.  (To be continued).


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