Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tough Love

I certainly understand the frustration some of my friends feel when they say that they are tired of people within the GOP criticizing the party. I am one of those critics. I plead guilty. But, I honestly don't see how we are going to improve the party by just talking about Obama and his failures. Many of you are parents. If you see that your child doing something wrong, do you correct the child by pointing out how bad the other kids in the neighborhood are?

Obama is presiding over a bad economy. His stimulus bill has failed to keep unemployment from rising above 8% as advertised. Nearly 75% of Americans feel that the country is on the wrong track. By every traditional marker, Obama should be extremely vulnerable. Yet, the latest match up Gallup poll shows Obama in a statistical tie with all the GOP front runners. This indicates to me an inherent weakness in our nomination process for the national ticket. At the local level, the GOP can win because it can run candidates like Scott Brown in Massachusetts. But at the national level, it seems that only candidates with a narrow regional appeal are most likely to win the nomination.
And no, I am not exaggerating. Look at Huntsman.  I have repeatedly seen comments that he is running in the wrong party. Here is a successful two terms governor who created a pro-growth environment. Under his leadership, Utah was named the "Best Managed State in America"  by the Pew Research Center. Huntsman implemented basically a flat tax; he is pro-life and pro-second amendment. In other words, his record reflects the very agenda that conservatives say they want to see implemented in D.C. Yet we are told that he running in the wrong party. Why? Because he embraced evolution and said he would trust scientists on the issue of climate change.

Until a few days ago, Chris Christie was one of the names being floated for a possible presidential candidate. But then Christie said he believes scientists on climate change and, just like that, many in the GOP declared a Christie candidacy dead. This is the same Christie who has been showered with praise for his tough talk and conservative approach to governance all year long. Well, at least no one has said he needs to leave the party. Yet.

Not sure when denying evolution or not listening to scientists when it comes to science became a gauge of a candidate's conservatism. But that is the current GOP.  This is a party where someone like Huntsman is told to run as a Democrat while someone like Sarah Palin - with the record of redistributing wealth -is seen as a champion of conservatism. After all, Palin slapped a windfall tax on "Big Oil" (her words not mine) and then took the proceeds and redistributed them to the people. A record that any liberal would love and want to implement at the national level. But, she is a conservative and Huntsman is not. Go figure.

I still believe that the Republican party is the only viable political option for people like me who believe in limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise and a strong defense. As long as I am involved in the party, I will push, prod and appeal to its "better policy angels". At least, I will do so until the next telephone call I receive from the RNC asking for a contribution. Then, I will ask whether or not I must reject evolution and stop listening to scientists to be a Republican. If the answer is yes, then clearly I am in the wrong party.