Spin is important in politics. Therefore, why aren't the republicans and such spinning hard to persuadable folks. Why doesn't someone in politics come through with the following position, which should be very attractive to a lot of people:
We are for the interests of the poor and middle class. And against the government which mostly does things which hurt the poor and benefit the already rich, while pretending to help the poor.
1. We are opposed to government regulation of entrepreneurism, because it prohibits people from being self-reliant and prevents them from becoming wealthy. Particularly onerous are licensing regulations, which we are (in general) opposed to. We don't have to go all nutty on not licensing doctors.
2. We are opposed to government interference in favor of business. While most regulations (anti-trust, etc.) are nominally anti-business, they appear to support entrenched interests against newcomers. Again, we don't have to be extreme here in that we don't have to oppose all environmental regulation...but recognize that most regulation is baptists and bootleggers. However, bailouts suck.
3. We are opposed to government programs which push people to remain poor by means of crappy incentives. The goal should be more $ in the hands of the poor. Less $ in the hands of the bureaucrats. Fewer rules. More accidents in favor of poor. Fewer opportunities for bureaucratic corruption/incompetence.
4. We are against government interference in private contracts such as marriage. Government sanction of 1 marriage over another is bad. Government forcing religious folks to behave in ways abhorrent to their God is almost as bad.
5. We are opposed to government interference in speech. While there is a case for ensuring that many/most channels are free of (popularly understood) obscenity, there is also a much stronger case for ensuring that the government has NOTHING to say about political speech, and that speech that is simply offensive is strongly protected.
6. We prefer private institutions to solve problems over public ones. First, public ones (a) cause cause inefficiencies and distortions through both taxation and spending patterns, (b) create institutional lockin, as opposed to continually improving solutions (Fedex vs. Post office/computers vs. public schools) (c) are notoriously inefficient (dept of agriculture vs. red cross, for $ spent on goals).
7. We are against one-size fits all approaches. States should be free to experiment. California has one approach. Texas has another. California should be as free of laws pandering to Texans as the converse. Houstonians should be free to live with Houston's decision to have no zoning and thus very low cost of living while Portlanders should be free to tax the hell out of development to increase quality of life as well as cost of living.
8. When we have no other information about a set of alternatives, we have a presumption that freeer is better.
Sarbanes-Oxley is bad. McCain-Feingold is bad.
Most laws should have a small-business exemption.
"Public" services should be subject to fees when used by corporations. (Trucking fees should be higher on public roads.)
The welfare / EITC should scale more softly, be less bureaucratic than it is now/ be all rolled into the IRS.
Government the hell out of the bedroom and the altar.
Tax credit (not deduction) for charity. Strict scrutiny of charities that apply for tax-negative status. Scrutiny!=regulation.
Yes, yes, yes. Many libertarians think some of these things, but they never push it this way as pro-poor policies. They push other approaches, which are much less pleasant to listen to. And this approach might capture the leftists. Where are the politicians who could push this? Is it all the public choice option that is in the way?