Dear Moderate Republicans,
I noticed a group of you on Facebook the other day bemoaning the “two evils” who are running for president in 2016, and it struck me as a powerfully difficult moment for you to face. Moderate republicans – the fiscally conservative, socially liberal of you – who believe that the role of the government is limited regulation and promoting personal responsibilities have been cringing at your party for a good while.
The Tea Party definitely made many of you sad, and its sad bubbles of explicit racism did not help. The radical “birther” movement, which claimed President Obama defrauded the American public, you ignored with quiet shame. When further right republicans began to take over the party, promoting a policy of “no” to governance, to the extent that even our air traffic control functions were threatened with reductions, you continued to identify with a party that no longer listened to you.
But where were you? There have been primary elections in 2010, 2012, 2014 and this year in which a reasonable to enthusiastic turnout of moderate republicans could have prevented the victories of these far right wing leaders. Where were you, Utah moderates who preferred Robert Bennett? Marylanders for Mike Castle? Coloradoans for Jane Norton? Indiana for Richard Luger? Were you surprised when these popular moderates were ousted and most of their seats turned over to the Democrats?
I’ll give you a hint folks, you’re going to have to get organized. You have the power to lead your parties. There are volunteer opportunities, precinct monitors and captain posts to be filled, party meetings, community forums, and politicians (or senior staff) show up at their offices on regular basis to MEET WITH PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
It’s a lot of work. It’s hard. It’s time consuming. And let’s be honest, most of us are working 30,40,5o hour weeks. Working in offices or retail jobs or schools, working at home trying to keep toddlers alive and happy (that’s real work). Most of us don’t have time to volunteer because we’re just trying to pay the bills or just survive. I get that. I’m exhausted too.
BUT WE NEED YOU. We need the personal responsibility republicans who know that without strong public schools, our right to vote is meaningless. We need hunters and marksmen who believe common sense regulations on gun safety and responsibility are a good compromise to end the violence. We need people who are willing to speak up about the travesty which is our current medical-insurance-scam industry. We need skeptics, and teachers, factory workers and accountants.
We need you to offer an alternative. I believe that the government needs a balance of people like myself who see those we have failed and call for greater safety nets and social security as well as people who remind me the importance of job training programs and incentivizing self sufficiency. I believe that single payer health care is our best option, but I need people willing to do the research and come up with an alternative compromise that neither leaves the poor to die (or go bankrupt) NOR permits for the spiraling of health costs further out of control! I believe that corporations should be balanced by a strong regulatory citizen-governed board whose voice is as powerful as that of stockholders and profits; but without your alternative perspective pointing out the corruption that occurs in any large bureaucracy, that governing board/agency will spiral out of control!
I would like to be the “radical left” calling for too much government intervention, regulation, and social safety nets! I want to replace 90% of our “defense spending” with infrastructure and education spending (like the new deal). BUT I CANNOT advocate for those positions when I’m so busy
We need you moderate republicans to get excited, to get involved, to rebuild your party from the middle with personal responsibility, non-racist, individual liberty, non-Islamaphobic, non-obstructionist, family-value-oriented (not homophobic family values, but care for parents and children, care for the elderly, take in the need family values).
Where are you?