Policy disagreements matter, President Trump
Note: I sent this e-mail to President Trump last week.
Dear Mr. President,
I was deeply disappointed to see the following comment you made on Twitter:
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
Mr. President, the House Freedom Caucus was elected on a platform that included a promise to fully repeal ObamaCare. One of the concerns that Freedom Caucus members have is that your health care plan is a watered-down version of ObamaCare. Yes, that would be an improvement - a little less regulation, a little less oppressive, and a little less room for government power. But conservatives do not want something that is slightly less bad than ObamaCare, or a marginal improvement over ObamaCare.
We want to be rid of ObamaCare!
You and some of your followers have compared this to the alleged binary choice between you and Hillary Clinton in the fall. That is not the case here. The 2016 election was a one-time vote, and either you or Mrs. Clinton was going to win it and become the next President of these United States. That is absolutely not what we have here. We are not faced with a binary choice of passing the bill that failed in the House or keeping ObamaCare, and you are intelligent enough to know that. There is always another opportunity to draft and pass better legislation.
The reality is that we have multiple options, and we have significant Republican majorities in both the House and Senate that can both fully repeal ObamaCare and replace it with something that is truly better. That is what the legislative process is all about. Ultimately, that is what politics is all about - or at least should be all about: Getting the best policy we can get for the American people within the limits the Constitution places on federal power. We will argue and disagree over policy, but that does not mean we are not on the same team or working toward the same goal.
This is not about you. This is not about your ego or who gets to take credit. You need to take a step back and not make disagreements over policy into some sort of personal slight against you. You need to work with the Freedom Caucus, not against them, to create market-based reforms that will truly lower costs. One of the best options would be to throw regulations back to the states, and let the state legislatures implement their own reforms instead of having 535 people in one city on the East Coast make policy for a nation of 350 million people that stretches across the entire continent.
Mr. President, I am asking you this: Please do not blow up the Republican Party with an unnecessary internal fight that will only make it easier for the Democrats to regain power. Please work with the Freedom Caucus, who are there for the exact same reason you are: To drain the swamp and pass conservative reforms that will truly Make America Great Again.