A distinguished scholar on American political thought contends that three political languages were viable during the American Revolution. They are: republicanism, liberalism, and biblical thought (Abbott 1999).
Republicans believed that the people held the ultimate power and agency in governance, and that any American could look any other American in the eye and present his or her views equally. Debates in government are about res publica (or, the public thing). Like, a wo/man from poverty could rise up and become elected Governor over an “elite” opponent.
Liberals believed that the individual can work hard and make the middle-class. This entrepreneurial spirit induces a government which focuses on incentivizing to outlawing (a big spectrum) activity in the marketplace. Debates in government are generally about the market.
People may ignore republicanism and liberalism and subscribe to biblical thought. These Americans focus on following the path God has for themselves, America, in a word, all people. The future of America is God’s City on a Hill.
The point is that, in America, there are still voters who subscribe to the former ideologies. A President may “get around” a highly partisan topic (i.e., the national debt) which liberalism appears to be unable to resolve. In American political development, multiple traditions exist in a very liberal landscape.
I suggest that President Obama could use republicanism to solve a lot of problems, because there are “republicans” in both the Democratic and Republican parties. A good “republican” step forward would not be the first choice of progressive and conservative liberals; however, it may be preferred over the status quo.
If I were consulting President Obama (in an open letter), I would recommend this brief plan:
Mr. President, to remove our national debt by promoting our values, create the following “republican” open trade agreement. This will cost the national government $0 (zero) dollars, while opening up foreign nation’s to American values and /or paying off our national debt.
First, you Mr. President, create a competition (put on by a non-profit) for non-profits to form a group–like the DOW Jones, but only 20 non-profits. The competition is for non-profits to assist in all countries. The work may be for removing cataract, curing cancer, cleaning water, reducing pollution, education development, workforce development–all non-profits. American values include not only liberalism, but republicanism too. This is a “republican” plan.
After 1 year (competition ends), the 20 non-profits are announced (foundationally funded). To enter the competition, foundation must have 1$M on hand. Mission statements and elevator speeches are made public along the way–kind of like The Voice, if you know what I mean. We are talking about “republican” patriotism. Citizens could donate to their favorite winners along the way to enhance their funding. As always, the people have agency and power in our public space (i.e., our interactions with other people around the world), including international development. As Americans, we maintain that all people need the resources for a decent life.
The winners will go do their own thing–and report back to the people all along. This competition does repeat every year. All winners are subject to “tracking” by the federal government, and it is highly recommended that the non-profits’ reports are in a format for social scientists to analyze the data.
As for the 10 judges (who get 50% of the voting power), you should have the honor of appointing them. If it were me, I would go with Matt Damon, Rachel Maddow, Bill O’Reilly, Jennifer Lawrence, Barbara Walters, Kevyn Orr, Arnold, Ron Paul, Philip Shabecoff, and Roger Scruton; just sayin’. In “republican” fashion, “the people” get 50% of voting power (i.e., “anyone” can text for Non-Profit Xe, Ye, Zee to win, and may also text a donation amount (i.e. open funding) for a specific non-profits too. For the moderator, I’d go with the legendary Stephen Colbert.
So you have a few non-profits representing American values going out into the world…
If a foreign country bans any member of the “winning group” from setting up shop in their country, then all import goods from that country will be taxed 1 percent to: (1) pay off national debt, (2) go directly to social trust funds (i.e., may even help Detroit Pensioners keep their pensions during this upcoming bankruptcy). After all, what have all these “free trade” agreements (from a republican perspective) been about?
My idea is soundly republican, in the Spirit of Thomas Jefferson, if you want to know.
Mr. President, really, I always find your speeches to be “highly republican.” Best of luck to you in all your endeavors. I look forward to your leadership in the next few years–coming from your “republican side.”
ps. I appreciated your speech about Nelson Mandela.