Wednesday, September 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Why we need a vibrant Republican party

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From page A8 | November 11, 2012 |

Some pundits are reporting that the Republican party lost a very tight race primarily on the basis of Romney’s perceived “insensitivity” to minority groups. Perhaps so, but the internal struggle for ideological clarity within the party may have been Romney’s biggest liability.

At the end of the day, like a black hole sucking up planets and stars, the tea party faction drove the election over the cliff. Emboldened by its knee-jerk success in the 2010 midterm elections, the tea party suddenly put party moderates in a state of political paranoia as its “rock star” adherents threatened to usurp the traditional sensibilities of mainstream Republicans.

In Romney’s defense, he was caught between a rock and a hard place. At heart a moderate conservative, Romney had to gain the support of the ideological far right by presenting himself as a hardliner on a wide range of economic and social issues.

Then, at the eleventh hour, Romney had to shift back toward the middle, and in doing so, came across to many Americans as disingenuous and untrustworthy. His efforts were too little, too late.

The problem was, that after two years of tea party extremism, many Americans grew weary of the “hold the line at all costs” political strategy of the far right and came to realize that important issues of public policy were essentially frozen in partisan intransigence. Moreover, the persuasive argument for increased federal fiscal responsibility was held hostage to a parallel, but entirely irrelevant conservative social agenda that alienated minorities, women, young people and gays.

Political scientists will undoubtedly slice the election dynamics a “thousand ways to Sunday,” but at the end of the day, the majority of Americans live in the middle of the political continuum. Most tend to lean toward fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. It is here that the Republicans need to refresh their “agenda” if they have any hope of capturing the support of the growing numbers of Americans who do not fit the traditional Republican demographic.

Stephen Davis

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • The MisterNovember 11, 2012 - 9:21 am

    Why is it, Stephen, that when someone doesn't agree with you, they are an "extremist"? Is it extremist that millions of Republicans woke up and refused to vote for the lesser of two evils this time? Is it extremist that they didn't drink the Kool-Aid and fall in line with the party bosses? Is it extremist that voters are waking up to a continued degradation of their freedom and see the difference in the presidenial candidates as only a difference in the facade of an ever-increasinly tyrannical police state? You may still be drinking the Kool-Aid, Stephen, but don't believe your state of ignorance is superior to people waking up to the truth.

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  • MarkNovember 11, 2012 - 10:36 pm

    The Tea Party isn't the Republican Party's problem. The Republican Party is their own biggest problem. They don't know who they are, what they stand for, let the Democrats dictate the conversation, have terrible marketing and are made up of a bunch of good-ole-boys who think they know what people want but are sorely out of touch with most people...the list goes on. We need a competitive second or even a third party to keep the others honest, but I can't see the Republican party surviving in a meaningful sense with the way its run, which is too bad.

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  • CD BrooksNovember 12, 2012 - 6:19 am

    Stephen, "very tight race?" Not so much. It was evident as you stated, Americans were not going to go that far right, period. The best thing to do is ignore the media and talk to people across the country via blogs to determine their position and perpsective. It was really pretty clear where this election was headed.

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  • Rich GiddensNovember 12, 2012 - 7:32 am

    One party rule with an extremist socialist-communist agenda has already destroyed the integrity and economy of the United States. Low information emotionally thinking young and minority voters are in for a rough ride. They will suffer and our republic could possibly be destroyed like previous nations and republics. It's best forecasted by the Tytler theory--Alexander Fraser Tytler's observations as to why previous Republics were destroyed by flawed ''good intentioned and kind hearted'' ideas that on their surface seem correct but are destructive. Young people dont realize it and by the time they realize it, it will be too late. They will tragically perish learning lessons of history past the hard way--either by economic collapse or civil / foreign wars. They don't understand that the Government doesnt exist to provide for all--it exists to protect us and our God given unalienable rights.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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