We Still Have The Power To Restore The Republican PartySubmitted by Dubaruba on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 16:35
The Republican Party has lost its way.
As a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, it was obvious to me that the only enthusiasm on the floor was manufactured and forced. For the most part, the convention floor was dead quiet, interrupted periodically only by the manic dancing staged by most of the Washington delegation every time the cameras came by. The sad reality is that nobody has ever been enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, not even his most ardent supporters.
But the problem we Republicans face goes far beyond Mitt Romney.
The Republican Party used to stand for something. It used to stand for freedom, for limited, constitutional government, and for fiscal responsibility. When Ronald Reagan said “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help,'” he articulated the core of the Republican message. This message resonates with people of all backgrounds, all religious beliefs, all national origins, all races and all socio-economic levels. People want to live their lives with minimal interference from the government. Freedom unites. That’s what the Republican Party used to stand for and that’s what every successful Republican coalition has understood.
The Republican Party also used to stand for fiscal responsibility. Republicans used to call for reducing the size of the federal government. Ronald Reagan campaigned and won on a platform that called for the elimination of the federal Department of Education, created in 1979. By 1988, the Republicans had abandoned this position, and now I find myself in continual conflict with Republican leaders who argue that the role of the Party is to restrain the growth of the federal government, NOT to shrink it to its fiscally sound, constitutionally proper limits.
This is not to say that the values of Republicans have changed - quite to the contrary. We still believe in freedom and responsibility. We still believe in limited government. The problem is our leaders. Republican Party leadership in King County, in Washington State and nationally have sold us out in hopes of stealing votes from the Democrats. This strategy has failed time after time, and has so distorted the “brand” of the Republican Party that people don’t even know what we stand for anymore.
Democrats claim to be the party of “choice”. This may be so if you consider only abortion. But true choice only comes with freedom, and the Republican Party has always been the party of freedom. Freedom to choose how we raise and educate our children, how we obtain and pay for medical care. Freedom to choose how we earn a living, how we use our property. Freedom to live our lives as WE see fit, not how some distant bureaucrat dicates, and to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions.
Our Republican leaders have marginalized our voices and our values by advancing candidates who advocate government control over our lives in far ranging areas such as travel, health care, education, property rights, and more. In many of these areas, the candidates put forth by our leadership have been nearly indistinguishable from Democrats. Time after time these candidates have been defeated.
Our Republican leaders have betrayed our priorities by advancing candidates who propose budgets, both nationally and for Washington State, that INCREASE reckless spending, calling increases cuts and fooling nobody.
My friends, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If we Republicans continue to elect the same County, State and National leadership, we cannot expect any other outcome but what we have had – 28 years of Democratic Governors and another President Obama.
I believe we as Republicans can do better. I believe that if given a choice – a real, credible choice – people will choose freedom and fiscal responsibility. Whether Republicans provide them with that choice – a choice that truly reflects our values – or whether we continue to allow our “leadership” to steer us away from our core values, will determine whether the Republican Party continues to have relevance, or whether it fades away like so many political parties of the past.