“The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”
—Nancy Pelosi on the New Green Deal, February 2019
“We saved the planet! We’re saving the planet with a record $360 billion to save the planet.”
—Nancy Pelosi celebrating the “Inflation Reduction Act,” August 2022
One area of bipartisan agreement: socialist pop icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal has mushroomed from progressive pipedream, paleo punching bag and most of all, Pelosian punchline to the moving force behind an once inconceivable environmental, economic, and social transformation of America.
Players from the White House, Senate bill sponsor Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and Matthew Miles Goodrich of the climate alarmist Sunrise Movement to the Heritage Foundation and House Budget Committee ranking member Jason Smith (R-Mo.) have identified its core principles as driving factors in, variously, the American Jobs spend-a-thon, the semiconductor and American Rescue boondoggles, and the Inflation Reduction Act leviathan. Add to these a wave of executive orders commencing moments after America’s faux president occupied the Oval Office and the tens of billions in eco-earmarks in the uniparty’s recent omnibust extravaganza.
It’s all about—to channel one’s inner Obama—the “Audacity of Scope.”
Stake out, as the ’90s biz-world termed it, “Big Hairy Audacious (there’s that word again) Goals.” And keep salami-slicing till it’s inevitable.
In that vein, the Left has driven disruptive, destructive transformation—not only with the Green New Deal but also regarding overweening wokeism, representing two notions once equally associated with lunatic fringes but now mainstreamed in toxic ESG and DEI alphabet soups (with gender confusion and border chaos being subsets of the latter).
Yet “going-long” is a game two movements can play. Ronald Reagan famously encouraged conservatives to raise “a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors,” with his 1980 landslide behind a 30 percent tax cut proving the point. The Contract with America helped win back the House. Pro-lifers focused relentlessly forward in a five-decade march to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year.
And the MAGA movement broke the mold altogether, challenging paradigms and end-running the establishment. With job generating tax cuts, energy independence, repudiation of climate self-flagellation, regulation-slashing, the gutsy embassy move to Jerusalem, and a muscular, America-first immigration, trade and national security posture no one could say the picture was pastel. Add to that all of that a revamped judiciary that actually and finally overturned Roe v. Wade.
In contrast, Kevin McCarthy’s focus-grouped, me-too Commitment to America, while philosophically correct on many points, was composed, communicated, and semi-campaigned on with all the conviction and verve of a dentist visit for a root canal.
To slow the progressive juggernaut, the Right must build and brazenly broadcast a blueprint even more bodacious and blindingly bright than the Green New Deal. A roadmap that, like AOC’s, stakes out territory beyond rational hopes of capturing in the current environment—aspiring, ultimately, to re-reshape the battlefield. Name it—and claim it.
What might elements of that Bold Colors Agenda for 2023 and beyond look like? Just for a start:
Upright Elections: Two non-negotiable, easy-to-understand-and-communicate pillars to restore trust—and conservative victory chances: One Election Day. Voter ID.
Radical Right-Sizing: A federal blood-letting that makes Rand Paul’s 2011 proposal—a cool half-billion dollars in cuts—look like a rounding error. Eliminate departments and agencies wholesale, getting Washington out of the businesses, in particular, of education, healthcare, welfare (business and corporate) and diversity/affirmative action.
Block-grant most domestic programs to states—and return most federal lands—then phase out funding. Privatize (and thereby modernize) consumer protection, food and product safety, air traffic control, pharmaceutical approvals and regulation and more. Dramatically slim the bloated federal criminal code. And replace the rogue FBI with a center of excellence aiding local law enforcement.
Pain-Free Payment: Deep-six the deeply incompetent Internal Revenue Service and outrageously intrusive and expensive tax code in favor of a no-muss, no-fuss, no-file, no-audit consumption-based system to make paying for the service called government as simple and painless as any other consumer transaction.
Drill, Baby, Drill: Climate and energy policy in three words. Next?
Immigration Investigation: Hermetically seal the border at least until a commission—on a one-year deadline—accurately determines once and for all just how many unlawful migrants there are, where, and what they cost. Thus informed, reinstate policies vindicating the principle elucidated by the late Barbara Jordan, chair of a 1990s panel: the “right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national [not the Democrats’] interest.”
Defense Redirected: Move this area of government away from woke social experimentation and subsidizing socialist America-scorners, and back to defending the homeland. This would include redeploying forces from overseas (especially Western Europe) to secure the border and crush murderous, drug-and-human-trafficking cartels.
Fully Unchain from China: Stretch beyond the “Commitment’s” proposal to merely “(m)ove supply chains away from China” and implement 100 percent decoupling from the tyrants who exported a killer virus; supply fentanyl components; and openly pursue rampant financial fraud, IP theft, organ harvesting, global chaos, displacement of U.S. world leadership and the ultimate enslavement of our children.
Motivate Matrimony: Above all, as I’ve suggested previously: “Give couples incentives to be married, prosperous, and productive with sizable loans upon getting hitched, forgiving portions for each child parented.”
Who will raise the banner? Certainly, not the Washington uniparty. The Freedom Caucus can carry some of the load.
But the strongest impetus and heaviest lifting must, as also noted earlier, come from beyond the Potomac.
Much of the Bold Colors Blueprint restores federalism and shifts power back to the people: returning control of programs, spending, tax bases, and potentially borders to states to elevate local accountability and get Washington’s nose out of areas they traditionally regulated. Allowing private actors to do superior, more efficient jobs of policing their own industries, speeding cures and solutions, and especially critical of late, managing the skyways and byways.
What better way to accomplish letting Americans run their own lives and invest their own money in their and their families’ dreams as they see fit?
“We the People” have had a unique taste test in recent years of how less Washington means more, and more Washington means much, much less. It’s time to offer voters an even greater, unmistakable choice.