“The Letter”

By Dennis Sanders | Related entries in General Politics, Smart Things Said By Smart People

My blogmate Pete Abel over at Central Sanity, came up with an idea of a letter to GOP Leaders urging them to pay attention to the moderates within the Party. The letter is catching on and I wanted to share what he has written with you.

Yeah, I know some will think this is a waste of time, but I am thankful for Pete having the huztpah to make his voice heard. Hopefully, others will follow.

So, here is the letter:

We, the undersigned, are moderate Republican voters, a growing force within the Party.

Republican candidates will need to increasingly reckon with us in the months and years ahead, as we mobilize for no purpose less dramatic than the rescue of our Party and the refocusing of its platform on the bedrock principles of individual liberty and limited government; lower taxes and free markets; a strong national defense and collaborative foreign policy.

We intend this letter as an encouragement to GOP leaders who: (a) embrace those bedrock principles but recognize that the narrow-minded strategies of certain social conservatives have made our Party a shadow of its former self, and thus (b) reject these social conservatives’ alienating approach and prefer what former U.S. Senator John Danforth has labeled a politics of “reconciliation,� a politics wherein we seek to emphasize what unites rather than what divides us. If you fit in this category, we encourage you to speak up and boldly state your beliefs, without equivocation. And if certain social conservatives attack you for doing so, we – the real Republican base – will be there to lend our support.

We believe the wise use of taxpayer dollars requires our government to avoid deficits and the enormous and unnecessary burden those deficits will place on future generations.

We believe in personal responsibility, self-reliance, capitalism, and the power of markets – markets that are allowed to operate with the least possible degree of regulation that is necessary to safeguard fair play and equal opportunity.

We believe in prudent actions that advance our national security, grounded in a foreign policy that, quoting former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, is “premised on the understanding that the rest of the world matters to us,� and that thus we should guard “against becoming ensnared in nation-building enterprises and push for policies that engage us with the world community and show, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, ‘a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.’�

We believe in the U.S. Constitution, its checks and balances, and importantly, the protections it affords our states and citizens. We further believe those protections should be consistently applied, both in times of war and of peace. The war on terror should not be a war on habeas corpus.

We believe in maximizing personal liberty and minimizing government interference in our private lives, including the lives of pregnant women, terminally ill patients, gays, lesbians, and all other categories of responsible, law-abiding adults. Again quoting Governor Whitman: “The defining feature of the conservative viewpoint is a faith in the ability, and a respect for the right, of individuals to make their own decisions – economic, social, and spiritual – about their lives. The true conservative understands that government’s track record in respecting individual rights is poor when it dictates individual choices. Accordingly, the conservative desires to limit government’s reach as much as possible. Traditional conservatives adhere to the maxim, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that government governs best that governs least.�

We further believe that the truest pro-life position is one which allows and encourages the ethical pursuit of all scientific research that holds promise for mitigating diseases that afflict our families and friends.

We believe the education of our young people is critical to our future as a nation and that realistic, fiscally conservative policies should be developed to further advance educational standards, opportunities, and access, from the lowest grades to the highest, from kindergarten through college.

We believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our citizens, with an emphasis on children, seniors, and others who are truly in need and cannot otherwise afford health care.

We also believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our environment, with careful attention paid to protecting our economic vitality and objective analyses of the pro’s and con’s of alternative energy sources.

In summary, we embrace what management guru Jim Collins – in his bestselling book Built to Last – called the “Genius of the AND.� We believe the GOP and its members can and should be simultaneously pro-choice and pro-life; pro-environment and pro-economy; pro-family and pro-liberty; pro-budget and pro-opportunity; pro-security and pro-Constitution. These beliefs need not be contradictory nor exclusive.

If you are or know an incumbent or prospective Republican candidate who shares these beliefs and who wants the larger GOP to stand united behind them, we encourage you to let us know, so that we can add you or your candidate to our roster of those we will support with our votes, voices, volunteers, and dollars.


This entry was posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2007 and is filed under General Politics, Smart Things Said By Smart People. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to ““The Letter””

  1. Dyre42 Says:

    Awww..ya beat me to it.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    This is the type of conservatism I could get behind. Well put guys.

  3. Daniel Merritt Says:

    I’m a 19 year old who voted for the first time in the 2006 election, I agree with virtually everything in that letter (maybe I’d be a bit farther to the left on a few issues), but I don’t think I can sign it in good conscience. Why? Because I’m not a moderate Republican; I’m a Democrat. I think that will be the major legacy of the past few years: young people growing up with positions that would normally have made them moderate Republicans or right-leaning centrists are so alienated from the present “big-government” social conservatism and messianic interventionism that they don’t consider themselves Republicans at all.

  4. Ann Stone Says:

    Belief in the “and” is exactly what Lee Atwater meant by the Big Tent…and it is the only way to have and maintain a majority Party…2008 will tell us if that is a lesson the Party leaders have learned….

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