From the right: Reuniting the Republican party
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 13:09
I seek no grandstanding in this particular piece.
I write it purely to express my thoughts on what many in the media are calling the ‘civil war’ within the Republican Party. Though some in the mainstream media and many in Democratic circles are perhaps ready to break open a bottle of Dom Pérignon at the prospects of the Grand Old Party’s downfall, I’m not yet convinced and would argue this point. While it may be a liberal utopia for the Republican Party to be left to the pages of history, I’d wager that even the staunchest liberals still want a loyal opposition.
For what good is victory without a fight?
In all political systems, but especially in ours, a loyal opposition must exist. For without it, America is a one-party state. Now, we are not even close to that happening yet. Republicans are soul-searching and rightfully so. Coming on the heels of back-to-back losses in presidential elections, the party should look to address what kinks may exist in the armor. The problems begin if the GOP soul searching becomes an identity crisis and an identity crisis becomes a catharsis. To borrow an old saying, ‘That way madness lies…’ the Republicans are to avoid going the way of the Whigs that is a path we should – nay we must avoid – at all costs.
Now the question is how? How does the Republican Party avoid this trap which has doomed many a political party? A simple trick: don’t eat your own kind or better yet, stop eating your own kind…
I am tired of the phrase ‘RINO’ (Republican-in-name only) to describe moderate Republicans and I’m tired of the phrase ‘wacko-bird’ to describe conservative Republicans. We’re all Republicans: Liberal Republicans, Moderate Republicans, Conservative Republicans and Tea Party. Establishment. Whatever!
We’re all Republicans and though we may all come from different parts of the ideological spectrum, each of us brings something to the party. For the party to win and win big we can’t drown out voices. All factions and voices have a place at the table and should not be shunned, nor barred.
Of course we’re Republicans, cut from different cloths, but in-fighting and purity tests help only the Democrats and do not advance the conservative cause. To be a Republican is simple: We believe in three core principles: lower taxes, keeping government out of the people’s lives and ensuring more freedom for every American. Those three principles are what should unite all Republicans from coast to coast and everywhere in between. The party once prided itself on being a big tent. Let us be that big tent again.
The political opponent of the GOP should be Democrats, not fellow Republicans. Party purging will succeed in leaving Republicans bankrupt in more ways than one and the ones to reap the reward will be the Democrats. In this paradigm, compare Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Christie is by definition a moderate Republican, or to use an archaic term, a Yankee Republican. Pragmatic, center-right, typically found in the Northeast and by some people’s standards a ‘RINO,’ Paul is by definition a conservative Republican. Right of center politically, typically found in the south and by some standards considered an extremist.
The goings-on in the party are pitting these wings against one another. One says the moderates should be driven out and join the Democrats, while the other wants the conservatives to be silenced or form their own party. Both solutions are unacceptable.
In order for the Republican Party to win it must be a united party with all wings accounted for, not sidelined. While I seldom advocate this position, the Republicans should take a page from the Democrats’ playbook regarding different factions. All are welcome, all are part of the platform, and all reap the sweet benefits of victory.
Not that I believe Republicans should ever be like Democrats, but in this particular case we should be like the Democrats!
To reiterate an earlier point, it is understandable for the party to be scattered. Losing an election always forces a party to step back and reevaluate itself – the Democrats have certainly experienced their highs and lows over the last 30 years. I am confident cooler heads will emerge in the Republican Party to unite. Splintering off into different factions or regrouping into a third party will only seal the GOP’s fate and I, for one, refuse to see that happen.
I’m a Republican. I see no sense in re-labeling a label. I may differ from my fellow Republicans in the state and across the country on certain policies or issues. But at the end of the day I am a Republican; because we, unlike the Democrats, understand the best government is a one that lives within its means and limits involvement in people’s lives.
Whether it’s Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Rand Paul, Chris Christie or the average voter, if you believe in less government, lower taxes and more freedom, then you’re a Republican – pure and simple.