With this platform, we the Republican Party reaffirm the principles that unite us in a common purpose.
“We believe in American exceptionalism. We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first as refuge, then as defender, and now as exemplar of liberty for the world to see. We affirm — as did the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe in the Constitution as our founding document. We believe the Constitution was written not as a flexible document, but as our enduring covenant. We believe our constitutional system — limited government, separation of powers, federalism, and the rights of the people — must be preserved uncompromised for future generations. We believe political freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. We believe that people are the ultimate resource — and that the people, not the government, are the best stewards of our country’s God-given natural resources. As Americans and as Republicans we wish for peace — so we insist on strength. We will make America safe. We seek friendship with all peoples and all nations, but we recognize and are prepared to deal with evil in the world.”
I firmly believe that the source of strength for our country is the diversity of opinions, thoughts and beliefs which balance together. From a political standpoint, our country is not best served by having one political ideology in control. If we have a Democratic President we need to have a Republican controlled Congress or Senate. Now, from the outside looking in, it would seem with these conflicting ideals nothing would ever get accomplished or resolved but the reality is it does. The “give and take” between the factions is where the balance slips in. This is, by its very nature, the definition of politics.
I don’t know and wouldn’t even attempt to predict the outcome of the current Presidential race. Between now and November 8th who knows how many audio tapes or WikiLeaks we will have to navigate, but I do know this, the Republican party has learned something that many of us already knew, our country is changing and it is time for the party to change if they want to remain relevant.
What is your image of a typical Republican? Here is the Pew Research Center’s profile;
- Married Male
- High School Education/College Education
- 50+ years old
- Mormon/Evangelical-Mainline Protestant
So, here is what Republicans know, and have known for a while, is this the profile of a growing segment of United States? Is it diverse? If you answered NO to both of those questions you would be correct. So why haven’t they been more aggressive in addressing this issue? One word, CHANGE.
If you read the preamble of their platform above you don’t get a real sense of flexibility. “We believe” is a pretty hard and fast beginning to any statement of beliefs. If I were to say “I believe I am going to have hot buffalo wings with my beer” you would accept that as the gospel truth. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with firm beliefs but when you offer people an all or nothing option the majority of people are going to check the nothing box. Change is hard and for some damn near impossible. The blinders many of us wear are no longer simply an accessory but a necessity to block the dynamic world around us.
The landscape of America is changing. We see it not only in politics but in religion as well, two value systems tied together though supposedly separate. I will watch over the course of the next few years, with interest, whether the Republican party adapts or dies. It is quite possible we will see the emergence of Independents as the next great political party. Given the current Republican Presidential candidate, nothing would surprise me.