Let the GOP Follow Tim Scott’s Lead and Stand on His Elegant Platform
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Let’s talk about the extraordinary importance of Senator Tim Scott’s rebuttal to President Biden’s speech last week to the Senate. When can anyone remember a rebuttal speech that was more important, more significant, and more insightful, and, by the way, that got better ratings than what Tim Scott achieved last week?
Usually the rebuttal is looked at as a potential president graveyard. I’m not talking about presidential politics here. Neither did Senator Scott. I’m just saying that he sure attracted a lot of attention, whereas the President did not. And Mr. Scott rocked Mr. Biden and Vice President Harris back on their heels.
Rocked them. Shook up the whole Democratic Party, as evidenced by the pathetic name-calling Twitter campaign aimed at Mr. Scott. That by itself showed the significance of the senator’s speech.
Here, though, is my key generic point: Mr. Scott’s speech could be — and should be — a major turning point in the fight against critical race theory, the fight against left-wing woke-ism, and the fight to socialize the national economy.
In my view, no one has marshaled arguments the way Senator Scott did. And thereby crystalized these vital issues to stop Mr. Biden’s transformation of our society and our culture.
Every Republican and conservative should read and reread Senator Scott’s remarks, as he rips to pieces the Left’s cancel culture, end of history, child- and middle-class dependency on government, and the effort to tax our booming economy into impoverishment.
It’s up to the Republican Party right now to get down to the basic racial, cultural, and economic issues that Mr. Scott laid out so simply yet so eloquently. No one has done it like this since the election.
The more I think about and process Senator Scott’s words, the more I think about the founding statement of my great friend and mentor William F. Buckley’s mission statement in 1955 for the National Review magazine (where many years later I served as a senior editor).
“It stands athwart history, yelling stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so.”
That is how I view Mr. Scott’s message. There are a couple of key points inside the speech that I want to carve out. Of course, his dramatic statement that America is not a racist country.
It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different kinds of discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present. This from a man who grew up in the South.
“I have,” Mr. Scott said, “experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason, to be followed around the store while I’m shopping. I get called ‘Uncle Tom’ and the n-word by progressives and liberals.
“I’m an African American who’s voted in the South my entire life. I take voter rights seriously. Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat and so do the voters. Big majorities of Americans support early voting and big majorities support voter ID, including African Americans and Hispanics.”
Senator Scott also declared strong support for school choice in order to solve continuing education problems, especially among minorities.
He reminded us that under President Trump’s leadership, we passed last year five bipartisan Covid packages and funded Operation Warp Speed, which is, of course, the basis for the end of the Covid crisis.
Mr. Scott wants a true infrastructure package, not a liberal wish list of big government waste. He opposes the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation — because he understands that they would lower wages of the average American worker and shrink our economy.
Mr. Scott opposes government spending programs that put Washington in the middle of our lives from cradle to college. Of course, he opposes packing the Supreme Court.
Mr. Scott doesn’t believe tax dollars should fund abortions. And he is an optimist. He wants a joyful springtime. He recalls the lowest unemployment rate for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asicans — pre-pandemic. And a nearly 70-year low for women.
Wages were growing faster at the bottom than the top. The bottom 25% saw their wages go up faster than the top 25%. That happened because Republicans focus on expanding opportunity for all Americans.
He speaks of our having passed opportunity zones, criminal justice reform, and funding for historically black colleges and universities. He recalls Mr. Trump rebuilding our military and cutting taxes for working families and single moms.
“Our best future will not come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams,” he says. “I am confident that our finest hour is yet to come. Original sin is never the end of the story…The real story is always redemption.”
That there is a platform for traditional-thinking people throughout the country regardless of skin color, income, party affiliation, anything. Senator Scott is a traditionalist who knows what works and politely slams what doesn’t — an elegant platform that people should be embracing right now, rather than these crazy debates we’re having on the far-left edges of society.
Adapted from Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox News.