Thursday, January 03, 2008

Give Me Back My Party

by Matt Towery - January 3rd, 2008 -

When I started both this column and our now nine-year-old polling and political electronic news firm, I swore off partisan politics. I don't campaign for candidates and don't really care who wins any particular race. I have to treat politicians like a proctologist treats, well, nevermind . . .

But my non-partisanship doesn't keep me from looking at the Republican Party -- the one that gave us Ronald Reagan and took over the U.S. House in the 1994 elections -- and ask, "Who stole my party?"

I have an answer for you. At one time, the GOP was the party that fought for open government, term limits, reductions in spending and less government intrusion. When I was involved in the Republican Party, we wanted the IRS disbanded and the Department of Education either reduced, made useful, or abolished. We believed in the goodness of an individual and the greatness of individualism.

It bothers me when people I agree with, like this writer, sound bitter and disillusioned. It makes me worry that others might see me the same way. I agree with Towery that the Republican Party has stumbled. Dennis Hastert and Karl Rove combined to turn the way we governed into a mockery of our beliefs. Unlike many others I do not appreciate them for the good they did. I despise them for the bad they did. These two are the cause of current Republican problems.

Most Republicans did not notice that Rove's "compassionate conservatism" really translated to embracing socialism. The long term consequence will be the growth of bureaucratic governance that strangles individual initiative. We have to change that but many Republican candidates have not yet understood what it means.

Dennis Hastert's goal to help Republicans get re-elected evolved into constant pork barrel spending and the worst corruption of any political party in our history. There has never been a more corrupt Speaker of the House, no matter how much his corruption was based on blindness to the consequences and he "really did not mean it to happen". We were kicked out of office by our own supporters so that corruption has at least ended. I am not sure some Republicans yet realize how evil the practice was.

Republicans need to talk about these problems openly, but without despair. We are not that far off track. The differences between conservatives and neo-conservatives, libertarians and evangelicals, patriots and center right moderates, do need to be resolved. However the issue is in how to go about these things in a way that our common ground is understood first so we find ways to resolve our differences. We agree on a lot more than we disagree. Turning government over to socialists who want to see America subservient to the world just because we cannot work out disagreements over minor squabbles is simply not the way to go. If we keep squabbling we can lose our freedom in the process.


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