The following is part of the Civitas Institute’s "Renewing Conservatism" series. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors, or the staff and board, of the Civitas Institute.
We have been hearing a lot in the last few weeks about the need for the Republican Party to change, to rethink its core beliefs, to modernize, to move to the center, to be more like the Democratic Party. We are told, usually by the pundits on television news, that we need to change our approach on abortion, marriage, health care, education, our military, the role of government in our lives and capitalism. I, for one, completely agree!
When we had complete control of the federal government in the early 90’s, most of our Republican elected officials completely forgot the core beliefs they were elected to uphold. From President Bush to the Republican-controlled Congress, we did our best to “out Democrat” the Democrats. As a result of the Republican and Democratic actions being almost the same, the line between the political parties has blurred to the point that a lot of Republicans can’t tell the difference between the actions of one politician from another, even if there is an (R) or a (D) behind their name. When that happens, the only option left to these people is to become an Independent. I believe that is what is happening today! When you can’t tell the difference, you have to start depending on your own value system to elect the best man.
Yes, there’s no questioning the fact that the Republicans have to change! The question is change to what? We could change to moderate positions but we saw what that stance did in the last election. Or, we could change back to what we used to be, go back to what made us Republicans, and what made this country the envy of the world. We could change back to being proud of our beliefs, and remembering that the majority of the country believes the same way.
As a Republican, I believe in capitalism. I believe that this country was built and made great by capitalism and government should never control it completely. I believe that government should not be a part of our health care system, except for maybe basic safeguards. Government controls and requirements are one of the biggest reasons for today’s expensive health costs. I believe in the right to life of the unborn, protecting them from those who would sweep them away for a matter of convenience. I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Civil unions could ensure that everyone’s civil rights are protected. I believe that we must have a strong military in time of peace as well as war. The world believes America can protect freedom everywhere, as we have already proved many times.
Conservative Republicans need to demand that our elected officials stand for our principles and values in both deeds and actions, and against this unprecedented growth in government that is happening today. Liberal policies we see today can best be countered by conservative policies that have been used successfully in the past. This is the change we Republicans need!
Larry Britt, Chairman
Beaufort County Republican Party