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By Attorney Jack Swift

April 27, 2013

The history of our nation will show that the great political question of our era is the contest between ideals of limited government and individual freedom versus central planning and bureaucratic control. At this crucial point in our history, it would be of value to the free citizen, if the philosophies of the two dominant political parties reflected these contending positions. Unfortunately, in that contest, one has to wonder whether the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are but two sides of the same coin of big government?

In the march toward accumulation of power by the federal government, the so-called “liberal” Democrats usually get all the blame for their initiation of grandiose, unsustainable social schemes. LBJ’s “Great Society” comes to mind. Jimmy Carter’s creation of the Department of Education is another example. But what are we to say of the Republicans?

It was under the watch of Richard Nixon that we found ourselves saddled with an Endangered Species Act and an Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon divorced our dollar from gold support, providing the Democrats with an unlimited line of credit to support their spending.

It would seem fair to say that the Democrats have proven themselves masters at spending while Republicans have shown themselves to be masters of limiting production in the economy and manipulating our currency to hide our bankruptcy. This combination does not make for an economically sustainable model. Nor does it promote free enterprise and individual opportunity.

While the great champion Reagan lowered taxes to broaden the economy and the consequent taxable base, he did nothing to curtail spending. Nor did he do anything to remove bureaucratic impediments to production. This points to the great failing of the Republican Party.

This party has demonstrated zero ability to curtail or eliminate any government program, wasteful or otherwise. Apart from the repeal of the Office of Price Administration, can anyone recall the elimination of any government bureaucracy at any time by any administration?

When in power, the Republicans prefer to install their own people as heads of restrictive bureaucracies, apparently thinking this will control the negative impact. Unfortunately, it changes nothing. The philosophy of the agency is ingrained in the bureaucracy which does not change administration after administration. While taking the reins for a time is easier than doing away with the agency and buys some temporary relief, in the end it is all a matter of putting lipstick on a pig.

The taxpayer and citizen usually benefits when Republicans gain control in Washington to the extent that new spending and new programs are generally frustrated. Although, sometimes a maverick like Bush comes along who simply doubles down on the Democrats’ ideals. But at its best, the Republican Party can only claim credit for stopping the government expansion conveyor belt for an interim.

Republicans have shown themselves to be totally incapable of unwinding anything. Even now, as we confront the economic tsunami of Obamacare, we hear Republicans beginning to say that it has been established and we can’t repeal it. When control changes hands back to the Democrats, the idling conveyor belt will simply grind on again. We are on a relentless path to totalitarian government by bureaucracy and neither party is prepared to stop it.

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It is time to redefine the political debate. The Republican Party has shown itself to besimply a hollow echo of the Democratic Party. Where a local Republican party has been redefined by Tea Party advocates with ideals of limited government, the charge is heard that the party has been hijacked by “conservative radicals.” This is more than simply the lament of the ousted political establishment. Where Tea Party representatives have been sent to Congress, the Republican establishment has rebuffed them. This is becoming a question of who is on what

In the crucible of the political conflict that will define our era and the future of our nation, the Republican Party establishment has shown itself unwilling to accept the challenge of the times. If the party will not respond to the needs of the nation and reform itself, then the time has come for it to step aside. If it has no alternative to offer, who needs it?

� 2013 - Jack Swift - All Rights Reserved

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Jack H. Swift, is the Josephine County chapter leader for "Americans For Prosperity" and Vice-Chairman, Southern Oregon Resource Alliance (SORA) and a semi-retired attorney living locally in the Grants Pass, Oregon area. He was a write-in candidate for commissioner in the 2006 election. He had a successful career in civil litigation prior to moving to Grants Pass, including successfully arguing issues of civil rights, jurisdiction, and sovereign immunity to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is currently an inactive member of the California and Oregon State Bars.











In the march toward accumulation of power by the federal government, the so-called “liberal” Democrats usually get all the blame for their initiation of grandiose, unsustainable social schemes. LBJ’s “Great Society” comes to mind.