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OP-ED by Shane Schoeller: The Republican Party’s way forward

by Shane Schoeller062012-001

Since the Election, there has been an ongoing national conversation about the future of the Republican Party.  While the pundits and media have enjoyed writing the obituary of the Republican Party, what they have missed (or ignored) are the many Republican successes from Election Day, namely at the state level all across the country.

In Missouri, for example, Republican control of the General Assembly was expanded to veto-proof, two-thirds Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. Nationally, two-thirds of Governor’s mansions and more than half of state legislatures are now controlled by Republican majorities.

These state level electoral successes represent a continuation of the state Republican resurgence that has taken place over the past three years.  It began with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s pursuit of bold pension and budget reforms that saved a state that was on the brink of financial collapse.

In 2010, after decades of union control, Gov. Walker shocked the political world with an overhaul of Wisconsin’s collective bargaining laws to restore financial sanity to the states’ out-of-control pension system. Just this year, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback passed bold small business tax relief that has escalated the ‘border war’ between Missouri and Kansas and put his state in a position to lure even more jobs out of Missouri if we continue forward on the same path.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been leading the national fight to promote choice, freedom, and accountability in our education system.  Against the protests of teachers unions, Jindal was successful in passing a comprehensive education reform package that serves as a model for reforming our nations’ schools.

Last month, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed one of the most transformative reforms yet; right-to-work.  Now, Michigan is now on the brink of transforming its crippled economy and getting the state back on track after decades of economic struggle.

Republicans are winning in states across the country and our leaders are proving once again ideas grounded in proven solutions matter as they enact their bold reforms; but we must now figure out how to translate these successes to states like Missouri and to the national stage. It’s simple: we must elect bold leaders that will communicate effectively.  These leaders have explained the very serious fiscal, economic, and educational challenges facing their states and they have offered bold solutions.  And in the face of relentless attacks from liberal media and special interests, they have been unwavering in their pursuit of reforms.

In Missouri, we should learn from these successes and propose bold reforms to transform our state like right-to-work, broad-based tax relief, and judicial and education reforms.  We must explain to Missourians how our schools are falling behind, our economic recovery is lagging, our manufacturing has been depleted, and how our judicial system has turned our Missouri into the ‘Sue-Me’ state.

As we regroup from November, we must not abandon our principles for so long as our party represents a more limited, responsible government that protects life, liberty and economic opportunity, we will always have a winning message and the opportunity to get Missouri moving forward in the right direction.