It is no secret the Republican Party is in an identity crisis. Here in New Hampshire, where what appeared to be a slew of close races up and down the ballot, Democrats tidal waved into victory. Our job is to figure out what our problem was on November 6, and discover the steps we need to take so we can find a solution.
The seeds for this destruction were planted on November 5, 2008. That was the day after President Barack Obama was first elected and when Republicans saw moderate John McCain defeated by an up and coming liberal from the windy city. What was the Republican consensus? Fight fire with fire. We would allow our party to become more Conservative and dominated by the Tea Party. However, our nation and our party divided. Our branches of Government got intertwined in super-partisan politics, and meeting our basic requirements of governing became extremely convoluted.
So where does the Republican Party go from here? We need to get back to the basics and review our founding values.
- We believe in freedom for all to live their lives according to their own consent without Government interference.
- We believe Government needs to protect people from threats, not themselves.
- We believe in progress and where that can get us as a State and more importantly as a society.
- We believe in the value science has in making our society more productive and profitable.
- We believe that every human being has a desire to be free that our country is built and enhanced by immigrants, not destroyed by them.
- We are the party that tells the world to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.
- We believe in opportunity for all by breaking down barriers that harm freedoms.
- We believe the power education can have to grow a middle class and enable citizens for socio-economic progression.
- We believe in limiting our military operations overseas, in order to be ready to go when serious threats to our national security take place.
- We believe that America is a nation of laws, and that Government is not the enemy of the people just as people are not the enemy of the Government.
- We believe in civility is warranted on both sides and that opposing opinions should not be belittled or silenced but embraced to reach the best solution possible.
- We are students of history and know the power compromise has and we don’t steer away from it.
Many would claim that the Republican I just described is an R.I.N.O. (Republican in name only), but that is not the case. An R.I.N.O. is one that has most or if not all of the following criteria:
- They stress that Government is on a constant fight to take away rights from people, but insist that homosexuals being able to marry is a threat to our society.
- They are staunchly opposed to abortion, but offer no solutions as to how we can responsibly and intelligently lessen the need for such an act besides simply outlawing it, which will, as students of history know, do nothing to prevent the behavior from taking place.
- They run for Government positions with no intention to effectively govern, just to make the Government as small as possible.
- They consider themselves ‘people of party’ and not a ‘party of people’.
- They belittle moderate Republicans by calling them RINOs in order to win primaries, then go on to lose the General Election because they are not moderate enough.
- They believe our Government is entwined with the Christian religion, but anytime another country is run by an opposing religion, it is a threat to freedom everywhere. We cannot have it both ways.
- They are opposed to Government programs, but offer no alternatives as to how those who are dependent on Government can become independent of Government.
- They don’t believe in science, facts, or reality. They act upon emotions and if not given the consent of the governed they ridicule the intelligence of the governed.
The above faction of the Republican Party has a place, but they cannot be the figureheads and candidates the GOP puts out. If Republicans have a desire to win elections again, we need to promote and grow our appeal to moderate voters. We as a party have been hijacked, and in order to take back our State and Nation, we need to take back our party.
We need candidates who can appeal across different demographics regardless of their own race or gender. We need to set a clear agenda that does not confuse the American people. We do not need to reinvent the wheel, just open up the tent for more to join us. We need to stop pandering to the radical right and start appealing to Americans across the country. We need broad coalitions that unite us, not divide us. We need sensible solutions, not destructive rhetoric. We need to truly believe in America, all of America, not just the part that agrees with us. We need to realize that both sides value the strength of our Democratic-Republic, and that we can rebuild trust in our Grand Old Party. We must not beat our chest and brag about our success. We need to realize that absolute power most definitely corrupts absolutely. We need to be the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower. We need to fight every election about freeing up the economy to create jobs and freeing up the people to live their lives according to their own choices. We are, and forever will be, a nation of, by, and for the people, and may that never perish from this Earth.