When I started to volunteer and become active in the Republican Party, it felt like home. I was comfortable it was the good guys versus the bad guys and there was always a clear line drawn. There was the thrill of defending my party and its values – MY values – against a liberal agenda.
It was enough to say you were a Republican — there was no hyphen, there was no sub-group. You were Republican and that was enough. It was a time where Republican candidates won with double digit African American support, and we didn’t have to struggle to sharpen our message — our message was our platform.
Our platform focused on education, crime and economic conservatism, a platform that appealed to a wide range of people and a platform that continues to appeal to me. It was nice and it was comfortable: the party of sensibility.
Fast forward to the current ridiculous state of affairs. We’re a Republican party preoccupied with social issues and fighting each other over purity. The most controversial thing I could say is this: for a party that is all about personal responsibility, we have grown into expanding government intrusion in people’s personal life. That is big government, and that is not the party I signed up for.
The collapse of the big tent starts with its image. Folks see the infighting and see a bunch of angry men trading jabs with each other about who can out do the other on an issue that doesn’t broaden the tent or further gains on the values we hold dear.
Who in their right mind would go and say, “Sign me up for that!”?
The Republican Party used to be a family but now we are in a constant state of civil war. This does not help our cause, and the Democrats see this and they love it. They fuel it with gusto.
This has to end if the GOP is to continue.
The solution? We follow the basis of the Republican Party, we go back to what I fell in love with, we go back to small government deregulation of the free market and self-responsibility, the rest of this is nonsense.
Folks want to get back on message but we need to first get back to basics. We are splintered, we are wounded, and we have gone completely off the rails.
We need candidates who will focus on the right things, not unnecessary gimmicks to get their names in the papers. We need activists who will fight for what we agree on, not tear each other down over where we disagree. While many look to a younger generation as the future of the party, as a group with the energy and passion to fight when others have given up, we can not wait for someone else to fix it. If the Republican Party and its current membership don’t make drastic changes there won’t be much of a party for the next generation to fight for.