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RUZIECKI: Time for moderates to listen to conservatives

Opinions Column: Conscience of a Co-Ed

In previous articles, I have not been coy about my distaste for the unwavering support President Donald J. Trump has gotten among the “conservative” community. Whether it be self-proclaimed conservatives such as Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.), Sean Hannity or the like, I have seen it as a betrayal to the conservative movement, and conservatism as a whole. Aside from my frustrations from the warping of conservatism to "Trumpism," there has been another group in Congress who have been virtually useless in their fight against the political left. Moderate Republicans are no strangers to the status quo. They talk a big talk during a Democratic administration, but when a Republican is in office, almost nothing gets changed. When something does get changed, it is often minuscule and has some leftist language included. An example of this would be none other than the American Health Care Act (AHCA.) The American Health Care Act, also known as “Obamacare lite,” was the Republicans first attempt at reforming the Affordable Care Act. A pathetic attempt by the moderates, which is problematic, to say the least.

The bill itself had been dubbed “Obamacare lite,” by many prominent actual conservatives. It has been called this because it keeps many of the provisions set forward by the Affordable Care Act, which the GOP had promised to completely repeal if Trump was elected. But of course, they could not even get that right. Sen. Rand Paul (R-K.Y.), who is perhaps one of the most qualified senators to be discussing health care reform, given his experience as a doctor, walked furiously out of the meeting with Republicans. Paul, who has been one of the champions of conservative values on the floor of the United States Senate, has not spoken out against establishment Republicans if they propose something that is not in the interest of conservatism. A few other senators have come out against this bill including, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ariz), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and over 20 members of the House Freedom Caucus, which was enough to kill the bill completely. Knowing of Collins's past actions of being only a hop, skip and a jump away from dropping the "R" and adding a "D" in her title, I was surprised by this. But she may come around once Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gets around to her. In short, the bill was bad news and fell quite short of fulfilling the promise of fully repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Why has virtually nothing been accomplished by Congress since Trump’s inauguration? Other than the disastrous roll out of the travel ban and some allegations of wiretapping that have fallen very short, there has been virtually no good policy laid out by Congress. There is absolutely no excuse for this. Republicans control the presidency, the House of Representatives, the Senate and have control of more governor position and state legislatures than ever before. It has been two months into the Republican-dominated government and nothing good has come out of it yet. Due to the cowardice of moderate Republicans in the past, we have been subject to a disastrous policy set forward by, in recent memory, the administrations of former Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama alike. No Child Left Behind, Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Affordable Care Act and budgets consisting of spending run amok, were all able to succeed under moderate Republicans. Most of these disastrous policies were championed by the Democrats, who are mostly to blame, but it is with great disappointment that I witness the Republican’s not learn from their past mistakes again.

Take the Tea Party wave, for example. This grassroots movement came from a frustration with Democrats and moderate Republicans respectively. These members of Congress were accused by the Democrats, Republicans and the press, as being “obstructionist.” But what they were really doing was trying to bring about change. They were trying to bring about change from the same old same old, to a new conservative direction. Moderate Republicans have spent more time criticizing members of their own party who are to the right of them, than actually listening to what they have to say. Perhaps they know a thing or two about health care, education and how to combat the national debt. It is time to listen to the conservatives in Congress who have been muzzled for too long. It is time for the moderates to step aside for once, and listen to the conservatives who have been kept quiet for far too long. 

Louis Ruziecki is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science with a minor in history. His column, “Conscience of a Co-Ed,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.

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