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How Bad Are Congressional Republicans?

Summary:
The only conservative magazine that I regularly and religiously read is The New American, where I am a contributing columnist. The New American does all Americans a great service by publishing “The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution.” The Freedom Index “rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.” The new edition of the Freedom Index is the first for the 116th Congress, and looks at ten key measures. Scores are derived by dividing a congressman’s constitutional votes by the total number of votes cast and multiplying by 100. So, the

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The only conservative magazine that I regularly and religiously read is The New American, where I am a contributing columnist.

The New American does all Americans a great service by publishing “The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution.” The Freedom Index “rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.”

The new edition of the Freedom Index is the first for the 116th Congress, and looks at ten key measures. Scores are derived by dividing a congressman’s constitutional votes by the total number of votes cast and multiplying by 100. So, the higher the score the better.

This edition of the Freedom Index tracks congressional votes in the House on a consolidated appropriations bill, public lands, firearms background checks, Yemen, the Paris Agreement, the Equality Act, a disaster supplemental appropriations bill, indefinite military detention, the budget deal, and a short-term appropriations bill.

It tracks votes in the Senate on abortion funding, public lands, a consolidated appropriations bill, Yemen, a disaster supplemental appropriations bill, an amendment to a supplemental border appropriations bill, war authorization, the budget deal, a spending-cut amendment, and a short-term appropriations bill.

The average House score is 36 percent. The average Senate score is 28 percent. Only two representatives, Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Justin Amash (I-MI), and two senators, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), earned a perfect score of 100 percent.

We know that Democrats are worse than horrible. The socialist and statist policies of the Democratic Party are well known. It is the party of liberalism, socialism, progressivism, paternalism, collectivism, abortion, transgender mania, feminism, social justice, economic egalitarianism, big government, organized labor, government regulation, public education, government-mandated employee benefits, environmentalism, an ever-increasing minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, affirmative action, welfare, higher taxes on “the rich,” income-transfer programs, and wealth-redistribution schemes.

But how bad are congressional Republicans?

Really bad.

There are 197 Republicans in the House, plus Independent Justin Amash, who was a Republican until July. Two Republicans included in the Freedom Index recently resigned (Reps. Duffy of New York and Collins of Wisconsin). Three Republicans have no score on the Freedom Index because they only recently entered the House after winning special elections (Reps. Murphy and Bishop of North Carolina and Rep. Keller of Pennsylvania). This leaves 197 Republicans with a score on the Freedom Index, including Rep. Amash. The average Republican score is 54.35 percent. Forty Republican Representatives scored 30 percent or lower, including one who received a zero.

There are fifty-three Republicans in the Senate. The average Republican score is only 31.75 percent. Twenty-three Republicans senators scored 20 percent or lower, including three who received a zero. Aside from the two Republican senators who scored a perfect 100 percent, only 5 of them scored above 50 percent.

And yet, we will be told next year at election time that we must vote for Republicans to keep those evil Democrats out of office.

When it comes to the important issues of liberty, property, and peace, it is clear that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans, as the Freedom Index makes perfectly clear.

What Lew Rockwell wrote about the Republicans ten years ago is still the gospel truth:

Free-market capitalism serves no more than a symbolic purpose for the Republican Party and for conservatives. Economic liberty is the utopia that they keep promising to bring us, pending the higher priority of blowing up foreign peoples, jailing political dissidents, crushing the left wing on campus, and routing the Democrats. Once all of this is done, they say, then they will get to the instituting of a free-market economic system. Of course, that day never arrives, and it is not supposed to. Capitalism serves the Republicans the way Communism served Stalin: a symbolic distraction to keep you hoping, voting, and coughing up money.

The only limited government that Republicans seek is a government limited to control by Republicans.

Laurence M. Vance
Laurence M. Vance is an author, a publisher, a lecturer, a freelance writer, the editor of the Classic Reprints series, and the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. He holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. The author of twenty-four books, he has contributed over 700 articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

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