From the Right: The Republican Party
Alive and well
This past week I was fortunate enough to listen to Tom Ridge speak in Dover. The former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary delivered an unabashed and unapologetic view on how the Republican Party must be a party of solutions. In his little chat with GOP foot soldiers and activists from across the state, he spoke of broadening the party's appeal and electoral prospects, something all Republicans believe must happen if we are to win again.
A successful party must be a united party. The Grand Old Party is often jolted, as if reeling from an ever-present, ever constant hangover. We squabble and fight and try to move on, but the headache never stops. Well, it can stop, if we look and realize that as a party we are far greater united than divided. We agree on so much and disagree on so little.
For decades now, the Republican Party is often chided by our friends on the left and even some eternal pessimists that we're a lost cause and that America will never accept Republican principles in any way, shape or form. Yet, time and again the Republican Party endures and continues to endure. The reason for the loss in 2012 was not the result of a failed message, but a poorly communicated message, overshadowed by sideshow antics from the fringe element, an element found in any political party.
In 2010, the Republican Party won the midterm elections in a seismic landslide, as a result of the big government overreach by the Democrats.
Today, people side with the Republican Party on issue after issue. Though people today are shying away from political identification, on the most basic issues the people today are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. It can be truly put that today's people are neither Democrat nor Republican but libertarian. They embrace the belief that government has no business in their bedrooms, taxing them to the hilt and spying on their calls.
People want government to perform the most basic functions, to be effective and limited in its scope, and to stay the hell out of way.
The Democratic Party may try to preach this message of libertarianism, but it is a ploy, designed only to increase votes and return them to power. Once in power they'll do what they do best: Grow the size of government.
This libertarian feel is alive and well across the country. I see it on our college campus. People are liberty-loving, individualistic people who want nothing more than to go about their lives and know the politicians in Washington are doing the job they were elected to do.
And who better than to reach out and speak for this silent majority but the Republican Party? The spirit of individualism, liberty, smaller government, capitalism and freedom have been the cornerstones of the party since its first election with Abraham Lincoln. The Republican Party is the one that people whose frustrations and anxieties over government can turn to; we simply, as a party, must welcome them, which will require a little effort on our part.
The principles of limited government, personal responsibility and freedom are fundamental and on that there must be no compromise. But the party must endure. It must modernize to the times and understand that to win again, the party can be a house of cards, diverse, opinionated, strong and united.
I, for one, am ever hopeful for the Republican Party. I am not going to its funeral, as the pronouncement of its death is vastly premature. The Republican Party will survive and adapt, because of necessity, because of the importance of an opposition party and because the alternative is unacceptable.
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