By Stan Welch
Senator Lindsey Graham spoke to a packed room Monday when he addressed the First Monday Club of Anderson, and his message was largely red meat.
Senator Graham pulled no punches, declaring America’s conflict with radical Islam a holy war, and one which we must win. He made it clear that a shift in political power in the Congress, and hopefully the White House, is the key to such victory.
“President Obama is the weakest, most indecisive president in my lifetime. He sends signals of weakness to both our allies and our enemies. And at the very time that we need a strong military the most, he is gutting it. We will soon have the smallest army since the 1940s and the smallest navy since the 1950s. We are in very dangerous times today. If we do not reclaim our strength and our nation, we may be on the road to Armageddon. At the very least, our children will inherit chaos. We need to take the Senate back this year and prepare a blueprint for taking back the White House as well.”
Graham made it clear, however, that if the Republicans and affiliated conservatives do regain power, they must have a plan about how to wield it. “If our purpose is not to put country above party and save our nation while there is time, then what do we accomplish? We live in dangerous times, my friends, and leadership is at a premium. We have to be prepared to provide that leadership. I believe that I am.”
His proposal is to recreate the Contract with America that was instrumental in Newt Gingrich’s revolution more than a decade ago. “We had more to say than just ‘Clinton sucks’. A number of us conservatives – Reagan Republicans if you will – signed this list of promises that we made, and we kept them. I think we need to offer four or five solid issues that we can deliver on and make that the basis of our plan. “
Graham made it clear that dealing with Obamacare would be high on the list. “Obamacare is absolutely wrecking our economy, just as it was designed to do. Three fourths of the eight million Obamacare enrollees were already insured. They lost their plans and had to enroll in Obamacare. The media seems to have missed that fact.”
“The purpose of this administration is to create cradle to grave healthcare and dependence on the government. We have alternatives and we can put a working plan in place that will not result in cradle to grave dependence, but a free market solution; involving things like tort reform so that doctors don’t feel compelled to give every test known to man every time they make a diagnosis, and the right of individuals to shop for insurance anywhere in America, not just South Carolina.”
Graham also considers the Keystone oil pipeline to be a major factor in future energy policy. “Buying oil from Canada is like buying it from your cousin. Why wouldn’t we buy oil from a friend instead of countries who hate us? It makes no sense. The enviro-lefties have made this nation’s energy policy a hostage and it’s time for that to change.”
Graham also favors what he calls a rational immigration solution which would favor those who are following the laws and seeking entry. “How about legal visas so that these folks can pay taxes and be in the system? If their visa runs out before their status changes, they go home and reapply. Gang members, criminals and drug dealers get sent home, and stay there. And the number one requirement will be to learn our language or go home. It’s that simple. But to achieve this, we are going to have to talk to Democrats.”
Graham also made it clear that the sacred cow of American politics, social security, is sacred no longer. His case was compelling. “In the next twenty years, eighty million baby boomers will be retiring. That fact not only supports the need for a working system of immigration that will bring workers in, but it makes it vital that we redesign our Social Security system.”
“In 1983, Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill sat down and saved social security from bankruptcy by moving the age of retirement back by two years. It worked for nearly thirty years, but people are living longer and longer and the system will not continue to stand up under the strain. “
Graham spoke passionately about various issues, but he saved his greatest fervor for the issue of Benghazi, and the deaths of the four Americans there. “I am very happy to hear that Trey Gowdy will chair the House Select Committee on Benghazi. He is the best man in the entire Congress for that job. He is tenacious, a trained prosecutor, and very well respected on both sides of the aisle.
“He will not politicize this issue, no matter what we may hear from the left. He just wants answers. So do I. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice lied, lied, lied about that video when she knew full well that Ansar-al-sharia was responsible. I will be pursuing the formation of a similar committee in the senate. I’m not sure how that will work out. But I promise you this above all else. Hillary Clinton will be held accountable.”
“This administration put aside a promise that has existed between this nation and those who serve us under arms since our beginnings. That commitment is simple. ‘If you need us we will come. If we cannot save you, we will punish those who harmed you.’ After thirty one years in the Air Force and the Reserves, I have no intention of forgetting what happened at Benghazi and afterward.”