In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush makes the case that the incoming Republican administration should set the agenda by calling for a constitutional convention to establish term limits, a balanced budget amendment and restrictions on the Commerce Clause.
Bush asserts that the 2016 election was largely a protest vote over the growth and power of the central government and that Republicans have a rare chance to shift some of that power back to the states.
But here’s something we shouldn’t forget: This election was more about voting against something than voting for something. Americans voted against the “establishment,” against the country’s changing culture, against a dysfunctional Washington, against the privileged, against Hillary Clinton—and, yes, against Donald Trump.
For the GOP to build on its victory, Republicans have to recognize that we’re still in a divided country—which incidentally gave Mrs. Clinton roughly two million more votes than Mr. Trump. Republicans need to do more than oppose things. We have to be for a few big ideas and show that we can put them into action.
Bush goes on to outline a number of somewhat specific ideas for fusing “the party to a modern conservative movement that speaks to 21st-century problems and produces 21st-century solutions.” Notably, he mentions allowing innovation in emerging technologies to develop unfettered by regulation, and the wisdom in re-embracing a foreign policy of “peace through strength.”
While expressing a desire to see President-elect Donald Trump succeed, and an indication he intends to pray for that result, Bush concluded by strongly rejecting the notion that Republicans should adopt the identity politics of the left.
“Let’s not focus on angst, grievance and division over race, class or gender. Our party must be big-hearted and creative and opportunistic,” Bush wrote. “We must make it clear that there is no room in our tent for despicable bigotries like racism, misogyny or anti-Semitism.”