Even though the GOP Convention theme for Day 2 was “Make American Work Again,” yesterday’s messaging was long on “prosecuting” Hillary Clinton and – to my mind — way too short on sharing the Republican Party’s longstanding commitment to economic liberty and free-market principles — the very principles that will make American work again.
Considering the theme, the night begged for more focus on economic liberty as embraced in the GOP 2016 Platform (available here).
The GOP Platform preamble asserts unwavering support for economic liberty and offers strong language for the Trump Campaign and other Republican candidates. Here’s an example:
“We believe political freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. When political freedom and economic freedom are separated – both are in peril; when united, they are invincible.” And in the document’s opening section, “Restoring the American Dream,” boldly states: “We are the Party of a growing economy that gives everyone a chance in life, an opportunity to learn, work, and realize the prosperity freedom makes possible.”
The 2016 Platform repeatedly and unreservedly reaffirms the party’s historically strong commitment to economic liberty: fair and simple taxes that lead to economic growth and good private-sector jobs; a competitive America built on private investment, not government spending or wasteful stimulus packages that pick winners and losers in our economy; and policies to free financial markets, encourage small businesses, and unleash American innovation and entrepreneurialism.
While drawing the contrast with Clinton is important for the Trump team, polls by Gallup and Pew show that voters in this election cycle are equally concerned with state of the economy as they are with the threat of terrorism, even in the wake of the horrific Islamic terror attack in Nice and rising violence on American streets. In the days until the election, focusing on economic issues, especially economic liberty and the free market, is an important argument for the GOP.
The closest we heard on these themes last night came from Speaker Paul Ryan, undoubtedly one of today’s most articulate intellectual leaders of conservatism in American politics. Here are a few highlights from Ryan’s speech to the Convention:
“We believe in making government, as Ronald Reagan said, not the distributor of gifts and privilege, but once again the protector of our liberties. Let the other party go on making its case for more government control over every aspect of our lives – more taxes to pay … more debt to carry … more rules to follow … more judges who just make it up as they go along.”
“We believe in a free society where aspiration and effort can make the difference in every life … where your starting point is not your destiny … and where your first chance is not your only chance. We offer a better way for America, with ideas that actually work. A reformed tax code that rewards free enterprise, instead of just enterprising lobbyists.”
“And we offer a better way of dealing with persistent poverty in this country: A way that shows poor Americans the world beyond liberal warehousing and checkwriting … into the life everyone can find, with opportunity and independence … the happiness of using your gifts, and the dignity of having a job.”
Great stuff. If you have undecided friends, point them to Speaker Ryan’s intelligent and persuasive case for voting Republican in November.
So, what can we expect from Day 3 of the Convention?
In the festivities before the evening session, the Arizona delegation will have breakfast with favorite son Congressman Trent Franks. And primary supporters of Ted Cruz are invited to a thank-you lunch with the candidate, who is part of tonight’s powerful speaker lineup.
Tonight’s theme is “Make American First Again.” Highlights of the evening will include: the prime-time acceptance speech by VP nominee Gov. Mike Pence; speeches by GOP heavyweights Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich, and Gov. Scott Walker; remarks by another of Donald Trump ‘s sons, Eric; and a wide variety of others speakers — strong women entrepreneurs and political leaders, successful male businessmen, and prominent religious leaders. Expect a solid speaker lineup, reflecting a cross-section of American leaders who are making America first again.
And what a great opportunity for each of us to not only watch, but to participate in the political process. According to a recent Pew poll, the influence of social media in American politics is second only to cable news outlets. So, take this opportunity to be an influencer for the values you believe in.
As you watch, take a few minutes and share the best of the convention lineup with your social media network. I’ll be live tweeting at @TracyMunsil