We Republicans stand at a cross roads: We can choose to change and each faction of the party can compromise some of their views and we can unite or we can go the same way as the Whig Party did before. There’s just no other way to go. The Democrats have moved ahead of us in diversifying their base and grabbing a larger chunk of the American populace as their loyal voters; namely the black, Latino, and women’s rights votes. By many, Republicans are seen as old, decrepit, backers of big business and out of touch with the needs and struggles of the majority of average America.
But it wasn’t always like this. The Republican Party used to be the party of intelligent progressivism. We used to be the party that moved America forward. My personal hero, Theodore Roosevelt, was a staunch Republican who battled for such things as anti-trust legislation, equal rights for all Americans, and liberty. Many other prominent Republicans supported similar legislation and policies such as Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Our party is built upon the ideals of personal responsibility balanced by a government which keeps its nose out of the personal affairs of the people.
Meghan McCain recently published an opinion piece along these same lines. In it she says the same things I’ve been thinking for years chief amongst which is that we’ve decided to follow the Religious Right and Social Conservatives so far down the rabbit hole that we’ve delude ourselves into thinking we can legislate people’s morality. It’s hurt us, as evidenced by the last two presidential elections. We focus on issues like abortion and gay marriage when we should really be fighting the increasing burden of debt that represents a serious national security threat to this nation. We must hone our message around the base of a sane fiscal policy, a strong national defense, and a dedication to the idea that every American should have an equal opportunity for success and should be left to do as they please so long as they don’t violate the rights of other Americans. These are the principles that made America and the GOP strong. They will again in the future only if we speak out in favor of them.
We need a return to the traditional role of the Republican Party as the party that moves America forward and not the party calling for a return to the Dark Ages.