We are Republican?
Here is a new video from RebuildTheParty.com, titled “WeAreRepublican.” I’m not sure why it’s one word, but for whatever reason that’s how they decided to do it on their YouTube page. While it doesn’t earn points in terms of search engine optimization and quality YouTube tagging, I think it’s well produced.
My thoughts on some of the profiles:
Warie: “I’m proud to be a Republican, because the Republican Party offers the best opportunities to all.”
While that sounds great, who is “all?” One of the problems that we have within the GOP is our position on immigration. Some factions of the party would like to see a more “open-border” approach implemented, whereas others would like to build fences and make everyone waits there turn.
Even though it’s easy to make a statement suggesting that we offer the best opportunities for all, the reality is that currently (as a party), we don’t even have a definition of “all.”
We can’t brand ourselves as the party that offers the best opportunities until we know who they apply to, and more importantly, what those opportunities are.
Sean: “I just align myself with the Republican Party, anything from going hunting, to buying my first firearm, starting to pay taxes…”
This clip was obviously designed to target the pro-gun crowd, which I agree is an important segment of the Republican Party. However I always find it odd when people try to bring the NRA into these political debates by making it sound like the NRA is a Republican front-group. The reality of this is false, as the NRA has endorsed dozens of Democrats over party-line towing Republicans.
Dale: “I never followed politics until I owned my own business. I’m a small business owner…”
Perfect! Now this is exactly what we need to be focusing on. People vote with their pocketbooks, and unfortunately over the last 8 years, the Republican Party hasn’t done much to protect and/or expand them.
Velle: “I immediately found out that most of my beliefs are in line with what the Republican believe: Less taxes, less government, defense of my community and my nation…”
I agree with Velle, but unfortunately you’re always going to have caveats due to the power of single issue voting blocks. Sure, we might push for less government in terms of business and the economy, but then when it comes to issues like abortion, gay marriage, and even education, we’ve often been the first to show up with a plan to use the big hand of the government to exert power.
Barry: “I want to see a leader who believes in what they do, not someone who says or will do anything because they think it will be popular.”
Diana: “To be a conservative, to be a Republican, means that you believe in the core Republican values… lower taxes, smaller government, transparency in government…”
One of the biggest challenges that the Republican Party needs to face is the fact that we are never going to be the party that is 100% conservative (unfortunately).
The problem is that “conservatism” has become so skewed by the religious right over the last 30 years that many don’t even know what true-conservatism is anymore. Beyond that, I think it’s safe to say that Americans are becoming even more libertarian (some fusionist, maybe), so that’s an audience the Party will eventually have to cater to as well. However, she is spot on with the rest of her vision.
Harry: “The Republican Party is a party that believes in the equality of all people…”
Unfortunately, as long James Dobson is on his soapbox instructing his followers what to do, the Republican Party is going to have a tough time becoming something that emphasizes total equality for all.
I was extremely thrilled to see that they brought Barry Goldwater into this video, highlighting a quote from his 1964 speech at the Republican National Convention:
Our Republican cause is to free our people and light the way for liberty throughout the world.
While that’s a good quote, there are two even more fitting quotes from the very same speech:
Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism. It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people. And, so help us God, that is exactly what a Republican president will do with the help of a Republican Congress.
Balance, diversity, creativity – these are the elements of Republican equation. Republicans agree, Republicans agree heartily to disagree on many, many of their applications, but we have never disagreed on the basic fundamental issues of why you and I are Republicans.
Unfortunately, it seems like that last quote is the one that many Republicans (some who we’ve spent countless hours trying to get elected) have forgotten.