The first thing the next President must do is return America to sustainable economic prosperity. This begins with four actions: two to balance revenue with spending and two to unleash America’s potential. He should initiate a national campaign for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, capping federal spending at 18% of GDP. Second, he should call for fundamental tax reform via a flat tax with generous exemptions for adults and children in the home and only two to three deductions. Third, on his first day, he should sign dozens of Executive Orders repealing unhelpful regulations imposed during the past four years, from carbon emissions to health care to finance. And fourth, he should launch a policy for national energy independence, beginning on his first day by approving the Keystone pipeline and opening certain federal lands to responsible oil and gas development and proposing legislation for an “all of the above” approach, with clean coal, oil, gas, nuclear and renewable energy.
The second thing the President must do is tackle the greatest short-term threat to national security by addressing the Middle East. He must begin a comprehensive review of the multilayered, interrelated issues that make the Middle East a Gordian knot. The three essential elements of any strategy must be:
1) that a nuclear-armed Iran will not be allowed under any circumstances;
2) that America resolutely stands by and for a fully defensible Israel;
3) the development of a proactive and coherent policy regarding the Arab Spring.
The third thing the President must do is nominate the right people to the federal judiciary, especially the Supreme Court. On his first day, he must start vetting candidates for every current vacancy on the 13 federal appellate courts and immediately begin developing a short list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. The President must make unmistakably clear that seeing these nominees confirmed is a nonnegotiable priority and that the growing obstructionism of the past quarter-century — and especially the past decade — must end. The courts concern all areas of national policy, beyond being of paramount importance for the social issues of abortion, marriage, religious liberty and gun rights. The courts play an increasingly central role in economic and security issues. He must declare originalism to be the official approach to interpreting the Constitution in accordance with the original meaning of its text and nominate judges who will faithful apply originalism on the bench.
Blackwell is a visiting professor at the Liberty University School of Law and a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. The views expressed are solely his own.
(MORE: The Conservative Identity Crisis)