A Republican Consultant's Memo


I would like to thank Frank Luntz, a leading consultant for the Republican party, for a very blunt 103-page memo he has been sending to current Republican candidates throughout the country. This memo will, for months to come, be my gleeful defense whenever I'm accused of unfairly attacking the Republican party and its message.

Mr. Luntz, a major player and advisor in the 1994 Republican Congressional take-over, says in part, "We continue to communicate in harshly partisan tones to a harshly anti-partisan audience. Voters want less fighting and more action". My, oh, my! That sounds familiar, doesn't it? For months I have been showing example after example of the nasty style of debate Republicans had sunk to thinking that this is what you, the American public, wanted. (Of course, for some small and mean-spirited part of the public, it was exactly what they wanted). Thankfully, even Luntz now recognizes that the intelligent majority finds it unacceptable.

On the environment, I have repeatedly shown how the apparent policy of this Republican Congress was to allow the nation's major polluters to write the legislation that would supposedly regulate these same businesses. While I continue to believe that business owns the party, as Mr. Luntz and I will explain in a moment, he at least admits that there are huge shortcomings in the party's environmental message. He states, "We have articulated environmental issues so badly for so long that virtually no one trusts us. The good news is that we have nowhere to go but up. The bad news is that it's a mile-long vertical climb and we're carrying a lot of baggage". My suggestion, to begin this "mile-long vertical climb", would be for any Republican to introduce some legislation that isn't written by the very lobbyists who represent the industries who release these toxic chemicals into our environment in the first place. The party leadership, itself, might consider admitting its poor record and promise to show some small concern for the planet's future.

To continue my earlier thought about the true ownership of the party, Mr. Luntz advises Republicans to respond to voter's hostility toward corporate America. Admitting that GOP candidates usually appear to be controlled by corporate executives, he advises, "The public does not have much time or tolerance for your side of the story. You've already lost the only opportunity to make a good first impression, so you had better improve your communication from now on."

My suggestion to begin altering this valid impression of party ownership would be for the party to begin showing some concern for those voters who are not among the richest 2-3% in wealth. Perhaps a profound cut in the massive Welfare system the Republicans have developed for corporations and their executives. The party has shown their commitment to the removal of all safety nets for the poor, now let them show the same concern for business.

This important idea for the Republican party's future would be proof of their constant statements about how Welfare recipients just need to get off the dole and fend for themselves. If Republicans would force corporations to adhere to the same high standards the party demands for women and children, perhaps your tax dollars would no longer be "forced" from you at the present rate. Remember, in the 1995 budget, the Corporate Welfare system took more than $3 in taxes for every $1 spent on all forms of citizen's welfare and that included the entire food stamp program, as well. If single mothers with small children can supposedly make it in America today, why does business need your tax help?

Are the members of the Republican party reading this willing to make Corporate Welfare their next target of "Reform"? That's not a rhetorical questions, either, dear readers. I would truly like to know. Will you expend the same passion and energy to just remove all forms of Welfare, no matter who gets it? If you are not willing to wage the same war on Corporate Welfare, why not? Do you honestly believe that business deserves your tax dollars but not the poor? Are you less angry that the government "forces" you to give money to business? If surviving in America is such a simple thing for women and children, are American corporations so inept that they can only survive with government's help? Since readers have quoted Biblical scripture to me in support of their intentions about destroying Welfare for the poor, is there some scriptural support for continuing Corporate Welfare?

Mr. Luntz has done an honorable and important service for the future of his party, his country and all of its citizens. He has admitted that the current state of debate and policy in his party is in desperate need of change. Will those most responsible for these problems ever listen? Did you?

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