Electoral triage?

I think one of the things you always have to do, particularly if you’re a Republican, and that’s to disassociate yourself from the Washington system. A lot of the system’s broken, and it needs systemic change … but if you become identified with Washington, as Republicans did in the House and the Senate over the last 12 years, it’s going to hurt you. You need to break that tie. …

It helps to have ideas. Remember in past political recoveries, they’ve usually been based on new ideas. Think of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Now, what ideas was he promoting? First was supply-side tax cuts. …

He also talked about during the campaign that at the time, not many people agreed with — including me — the idea was we will not settle for accommodating communism and coexisting with communism, we will defeat communism, we will win the Cold War, communism will collapse. …

When he said this, he was mocked … but he believed it all along. I think that he was about the only conservative around that actually believed America would win the Cold War, communism would collapse and it would happen in our lifetime, certainly his lifetime, and it did. …

Jump to 1994, another political recovery for Republicans after [President] Clinton had won the White House in 1992. … Republicans had a whole list of issues. Newt Gingrich was responsible for this, and one was balancing the budget. There were new ideas, and many of them were what they ran on. They didn’t just run on Bill Clinton and the Democrats, who gave them a lot to run against, but they didn’t need to.

So here’s my new idea for 2008, and it’s actually one that President Bush touched on but abandoned, and that is the idea of ownership. That people should own as much of the money that they have and their ability to use it, however they want, in place of the government. It is a kind of system you would call demand-side conservatism.

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