MULLIGAN: How long can Republicans fool their constituents?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters following the successful vote to open debate on a health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

If you considered yourself a member of the GOP then you might identify with the title above. The Republican Party, that is to say, the Establishment has been running on the same old campaign promises since 2010 with the overarching promise being a repeal of Obamacare. Now that the Republicans control each branch of government, the only question is whether they will deliver on their campaign promise. History would tell us not to bet on it.

Mark Harris who will be challenging Rep. Robert Pittenger from the 9th District for the Republican nomination, recently released his campaign launch video. From start to finish the video ad tries to draw in the typical conservative southern voter. The American flag, a returning soldier, a family praying at dinner, and of course President Ronald Reagan were among the images that flashed across the screen.

The ad moves from what America should be to the corrupt state it has become, flashing pictures of Senator Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama. Describing them as “career politicians,” who put their interests ahead of what is best for the country.

And what Republican ad would be complete without the mention of Obamacare. Yes, that’s right, even though Republicans right now have the ability to repeal or defund Obamacare they haven’t. And why not? Maybe because they are all hoping to run on repealing and replacing Obamacare come election time. It has worked in the past. Election after election Republicans have turned out to vote against Obamacare and for Republican candidates who promised to get rid of it.

Harris says “we can do better” and “health care should be available, accessible, and affordable and asking the federal government to run it does not seem like a good idea to me.” I wonder how many political ads have been bought, emails have been sent, and speeches were given by Republicans saying the same thing. And worse, how many times did Republican voters believe them.

Unfortunately, Harris’ ad will draw in many. But the reality is any Republican running on repealing or even replacing Obamacare is selling you a bad bag of goods. Why, because the Republican Party is not interested in making good on that promise. What evidence do we have to prove otherwise? The events over the last few months demonstrate we have been fooled again.

Harris ends his ad by calling for “new leadership” instead of sending the same people back to Washington. However, Harris doesn’t seem to be offering anything different. In fact, he seems to be offering more of the same. While the video is almost four minutes long, Harris offers no concrete ideas. Sure he goes through the litany of Republican promises, but there is nothing separating him from the Republicans who currently represents North Carolina in Washington.

Harris says, “it all begins with remembering the very principles that made us great in the first place.” I couldn’t agree more, but is Harris the best articulator of those principles? How does he stack up against say a Thomas Jefferson or Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul? By replacing Pittenger with Harris will there be any real difference? Will the 9th District have a new message or just a new voice?

Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If Republican voters can’t see beyond these political ads, designed to appeal to emotions rather than intellect then we should stop expecting something different to come out of Washington. We don’t need more or different Republicans in DC. What we need are leaders who understand the principles of liberty, individual choice, and the rule of law. But, if we don’t understand these things for ourselves, then the person in the mirror is the only one left to blame.

Aimee Mulligan is the executive producer at Red Wolf Broadcasting in Raleigh.