Why I Will Vote Republican : Being Conservative in 2016

Jay Heisler

Mindthis Magazine Shake Up: Our new Policy section! 

Mindthis Magazine’s Policy section is going through some big changes. Do not worry, we will continue to hit hard with real analysis from real people from our generation. But we are now focusing on who we cater to. First of all, the section Foreign Affairs is now called Policy. It’s a small tweak that embodies what our section will be about: The young foreign service professional. They crave thought provoking analysis on current world affairs rooted in policy decisions and advice on how to enter or make the most out of a career in the foreign service.

Whenever I go to conferences and pitch Mindthis Magazine I get the same questions “Shaaz, I want to talk to Chelsea about her masters program. Shaaz, this Kuba guy? He works for DFATD! I need to talk to him! How? Shaaz, I just want to talk more about where Sheema was was coming from when writing about the Middle East’s lost generation, can you introduce me to her?”

A lot of questions….and I am glad to say that soon we will have the answers! Over the last few years we have accumulated the right type of young policy wonks and dreamers to now scale our impact on the young professional’s life. 

We aim to provide job openings, resume reviews, mock interview sessions from our very own columnists who currently work in the foreign service. 

Are you drooling yet?

Our team has a lot of work to do but first on the table is to announce that Mindthis Magazine has teamed up with Soft Power Blog to provide more precise and focused content that revolves around the young foreign service professional.  Soft Power Blog is the creative project of an American academic and future intelligence officer, and a Canadian lawyer and entrepreneur. Analysis include coverage of major world events and political issues, as well as a unique take on various debates within policing, law enforcement and intelligence.  Soft Power Blog for Mindthis Policy will focus on themes such as patriotic activism, careers in intelligence, and ensure our team provides views from all spectrums of Policy. 

Remember, our only agenda is to provide view points from all sides of the table. Let’s start with Conservatism in 2016. 

– Shaaz Nasir, Co Founder of Mindthis Magazine

What does it mean to be a Conservative in the US right now?

During the most recent GOP debate, Rand Paul accused a man of not being a Conservative, because that man advocated the increase of military spending. As Right Wing thought moves away from nationalism and toward libertarianism, a paradox emerges. To the average person on the street, including most liberals, reducing the military budget is a liberal position. In fact, many of Rand Paul’s positions are more likely to be shared by a liberal than by many traditional Conservatives. Yet, here we have Rand Paul, yelling at a moderate Conservative for his pro-military and nationalist stance.

Rand Paul is a great politician. He channels a deep wellspring of disenchantment within Conservative thought, but particularly a liberal streak within the American Conservative movement. Liberals in Europe and the UK, in my experience, tend to be big Rand Paul fans. They are sometimes even shocked to hear that he’s considered a Conservative in the US. More importantly, Rand Paul exists in a context that every American knows about and few outside of America talk about – the nation of the 2nd Amendment, the Militia Movement, Waco and Ruby Ridge. Rand Paul allows the substantial alienated and disenfranchised core of rural, largely white American culture to have a seat at the table and a voice in the debate. As such, he’s not just a great politician. He’s a great American.

But how do we bring the term Conservative back to where it belongs? Many candidates during the debate showed the way. Rubio, a nationalist, is a fantastic example of what Conservative should mean, and what it used to mean. Cruz, a man with a foot in both camps, took Rubio’s side on the issue against Paul. Kasich advocated an incredible compromise, not necessarily in his debate talking points but in the policy of his platform and in his embodiment of increasing trends within the party’s ideological trajectory.

Kasich advocates greater rights and greater autonomy to individual American states. I for one can think of no greater policy, on a level of practicality, morality, and patriotism. Each American population would be granted the ability to create a climate in which it can dictate its own standard of living and way of life, united under core values that all share. Especially if states that are quickly, due to over a decade of migration south, becoming African American-majority, were to get African American leadership in politics and the economy. A world would emerge in which America is a beacon of culture, commerce and the arts – a patchwork of unique regions on the frontier of policy, from libertarianism where Paul is popular to socialism where Sanders is popular. This is, on a level of policy and a level of subtext, the new face of the Republicans, and possibly a growing trend with the Democrats as well. It would even solve the issue of immigration to everyone’s satisfaction.

Despite the doom painted by Donald Trump, America’s future is looking bright. The country now has unemployment down to the lowest rates since 2008. Our standing abroad has never been better. Our alliances are increasing, from East Asia to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Unless the Third World strongman archetype is allowed to seize power, the country has its best days clearly ahead of it. History has already passed judgment on what Trump represents, and everyone knows it. And history is watching the country now. America is faced with the choice of Empire, prosperity, and the rule of law on one side, and a strongman populist demanding the persecution of minorities on the other. Some have already shown their true colors, and there will be hell to pay.

Economic recovery in the Obama era hasn’t been even. The old “Middle Class” is now either still unemployed or stuck in jobs that they feel are below their upbringing and education levels. But new opportunities abroad await the industrious and the inventive. Those opportunities are more numerous than ever. With the TPP and cooperation against the Islamic State, the US now has deeper relationships with existing allies, and new partnerships with former rivals or even enemies. The trend is toward “better” for the majority, and for those who have fallen through the cracks, new opportunities have presented themselves elsewhere.

While the GOP establishment, represented by Bush, and the Democrat establishment, represented by Clinton, are mostly business as usual, both parties have challengers, from Rubio and Cruz to Sanders, who would capitalize on these new opportunities and help cement America’s role in the world and opportunities for Americans at home and abroad. To pick a Republican candidate is to pick a candidate committed to the TPP, to fighting the Islamic State, to State’s Rights, and to American Empire. To pick Trump is to attempt to seize power, against the wishes of the majority, and derail the most promising trajectory in American history. It’s bad psychology, and bad politics.

In order for politics to be reclaimed by those who are serious about it, and those who would wish to see their country and indeed their world improved and not just brought under their own control, the liberal establishment needs to grow up on the issue of the other GOP candidates. They’re all fine folk, and complaining about any of them at this point is missing the point and marking you as someone out of touch or a closet Trump supporter. Save it for the nomination.

The GOP is so far removed from the party that the average man on the street remembers it as, that it requires this statement to be a card-carrying Republican: I’m switching to be a registered Republican, because I believe in a state’s right to make their own laws based on the wishes of their own population, without undue meddling from bureaucrats in DC or trendy public opinion in other states. I believe that America is stronger as a federation of unique and culturally distinct regions with different preferences related to their laws, economy, and way of life. I believe in the right to bear arms, in law and order and the military, in foreign trade and in American Empire.

I believe that no alternative to these policies exists to my satisfaction, or to the satisfaction of any rational opponent in a fair debate. Once that is established, it’s just a matter of what candidate you support other than Trump.