Column: GOP can’t let voters down

As of today, we are one week away from Election Day. I will never forget how thoroughly depressing election night 2008 was for me. I was only a freshman in college at the time. Republican presidential nominee John McCain gave his concession speech, and the whole atmosphere of the evening just sank. I felt a sense of dread — America was so screwed, and the GOP was dead.

Now, after a few years of Democratic control, the Republican Party is looking alive and well. They stand to make huge gains in both houses of Congress and might even take control of the House. My question is: if they gain control, what will they do with it?

The past two years have been particularly tough for young Republicans like me. While being forced to listen to most of my peers ignorantly sing the imagined praises of the Obama administration, I have also faced the shortcomings of my own party. After all, former president George W. Bush was responsible for doubling the national debt, and he did push for the initial Wall Street bailout in 2008. Republicans had control of Congress for four strong years, only to abandon their principles of fiscal restraint and responsibility. It’s as though they forgot that to cut taxes, spending must also be cut.

Fortunately for the GOP, the Democrats have done no better, and are making no pledges to restrain their spending any time soon. They passed the health care bill despite consistent rejection from voters. They defied the will of a strongly engaged, fiercely opposed populace. They continued to focus on agenda items such as the stimulus, environmental legislation and healthcare reform while ignoring the primary concern of the electorate: jobs. They have lost all touch with reality, and they are about to get what they deserve.

Now, back to the question: if the Republicans gain control, what will they do with it? The American public has had enough of the out-of-control spending, the special interest deals and the elitist attitude of those in power. We want real, simple solutions and a balanced budget, and we want it now. America simply cannot afford another 20 years and $11 trillion more in debt, and the Republicans have to step up to the plate.

To live beyond our means now will necessarily cause us to live below our means in the future. Each American citizen currently owes about $30,000 on the national debt. I cannot afford that, not now and not later. It simply has to stop, and Republicans have to live up to their promises.

We’re about to give the GOP the opportunity to return to its principles. Cut taxes, cut spending and scale back government. I and millions of others across the country are counting on it. Don’t let us down.

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