Having just got my first cup o’ coffee this morning, I was met by The Oregonian, which proclaimed: “Conservatives: With a bad election hangover, Republicans are taking a long look in the mirror”. The author of this article, William Douglas, quoted a former GOP political director in Iowa as saying, “The biggest problem isn’t President Obama. It’s ourselves.” This is, no doubt, true. It can, however, be pushed in the wrong direction. This Republican self-assessment has all the potential to go horribly wrong.
Let’s face it: the GOP took it in the shorts on Tuesday. Why? Was our candidate not “centrist” enough? Did his policies and plans not have “broad enough appeal” to the American people? Should the GOP’s naval-gazing end up producing some new candidates who “better reflect the diversity of the American population”? In other words, should the GOP become more like the nation? OR… OR… OR should the GOP actually attempt to lead this nation?
Grab your socks and hose and pull – we should expect our leaders to lead. When they give up leadership and exchange it for buying votes, when they leave off principles and speak only of pragmatics (which, ironically, seem not to work), they deserve nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. Those trampling men, when that job is done, should turn to their party and insist upon a candidate who will lead their country.
What are historic Republican principles? Let’s just start with economic and civil liberties and political freedom with limited government under the rule of law. How have the past number of GOP presidential candidates worn these principles? I don’t pretend to be an expert in this, but take Bush (41), Bob Dole, Bush (43), McCain, and Romney as your test group. These are the leaders of the GOP for the past quarter century. What do you think? Do these men tend to represent the increasingly liberal, egalitarian, and “pragmatic” society of the United States, or do they tend to represent those strong, old, historic Republican principles?
When we Republicans (that’s right, WE – I’m one of us) look in the mirror, I hope we see what we once were, I hope we find our lost principles, and I hope we, then, clearly see what we have to offer to our country. I hope we can BE Republicans and thus lead our country.
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