by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There is much to be done if Republicans reclaim both chambers of Congress in November, from investigating the origins of Covid, to confronting the Biden administration’s failures on inflation and the border, to protecting parents and students who find themselves under attack by the K-12 and higher education systems.
Any conservative candidate for office in 2022 will echo these themes. But restoring American greatness will take more than establishment politics.
Winning the culture war will require both veteran and newly elected politicians in 2023 to adopt innovative approaches to various issues, some of which they may not realize they have power over, and some of which involve reopening old cans of worms. In this spirit, here are three ideas out of many a newly Republican Congress should make happen.
1. Pass Legislation Pressuring the Supreme Court to Reconsider New York Times v. Sullivan
The Supreme Court’s 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan made it almost impossible for public officials (and later cases made it almost impossible for “public figures,” defined extremely broadly) to win defamation lawsuits in America. From the earliest days of our republic, however, states had been free to decide how best to balance the need to ensure vigorous public debate and the principle that those who are defamed are entitled to a remedy. …
… 2. Unabashedly Defend Meritocracy in Education
Conservatives rightfully talk about equal opportunity and devote much of their attention to expanding education opportunities for those at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. But the point of equal opportunity is ultimately to secure a meritocracy — an idea that is worth defending on its own. …
… 3. Meaningfully Confront the National Security State
The post-9/11 expansion of the surveillance state was one of the worst blunders in American history, and it’s time for a Republican Congress in 2023 to acknowledge as much and undo the damage of its predecessors.