There is a growing feeling among conservatives in the GOP that moderates should "get out." People like Rush Limbaugh and [neoconservative] Dick Cheney seem to be leading the charge.
I've been told the same on many occasions, especially here on this blog.
On many occasions I have stated that the GOP needs its moderates. People like me. People like John McCain. And people like Colin Powell.
A few posts back I talked about what Colin Powell should do if he truly believes the same; he should help found a Republican counterpart to the Democrats' DLC.
Here's another parallel we need: The Democrats have the Blue Dog Coalition: Fiscally conservative Democrats who strive for bipartisanship and balance out the far-left.
Such a group is sorely needed within the incredible shrinking GOP.
Reagan, who pushed for a "big tent party," had many traditionally Democrat voters in awe of him, as well as many Democrats in the Government (including the Blue Dogs, who supported his tax cuts):
The term Reagan Democrat also refers to the vast sway that Reagan held over the House of Representatives during his presidency, even though the house had a Democratic majority during both of his terms.
The GOP needs its moderates just as the Democrats need theirs.
Many in the party, hard-line conservatives for the most part, are calling for a return to the roots of the Republican Party. Fair enough. I think that is precisely what we should do. And to do this, the facts that can be bothersome to some must be brought to the forefront of this internal debate. The roots of the party, of course, must be from the very beginning of its conception.
The Republican Party was formed in the late 1850’s in response to the democrats who supported the expansion of slavery into the new territories, which the new party was vehemently opposed to. The party was from the beginning, a progressive party and by no means a conservative one. It was a party that sought to modernize the country, not to keep the status quo especially if the status quo was not working for Americans. They sought to modernize the country by supporting higher education, free homesteads to farmers (a rather non-conservative thing to do), free soil policies against slavery, banking, railroads, industry and cities. This was a party that not only was aiming for the rural vote via homesteads, but also one that had a heavy lean towards urban America. Again something that is not apparent with today’s conservative controlled Republican Party. It was a party that believed industry and free markets were superior to slave driven ones. These were the founding principles of the party and it is these principles that should define real republicanism instead of what has crept into the party over the last few decades. Taking into account these founding ideas must also include Abraham Lincoln himself who was a man of principle as well as pragmatism in being the first iconic leader of the Republican Party. Lincoln from his early years warned against the slave holding southerners continuing power growth of the government...
...With Lincoln and his “pragmatic idealism” being at the beginning of the Republican Party’s creation, we can now look at how the party can return to its actual roots that we have slowly abandoned over the years and that we centrists as the “true” republicans must realize and stand up for. The party was a party that stood against slavery because it easily recognized the obvious evil of human enslavement, but also easily recognized the potential of industry to transform the nation towards progress and to end the inefficient slave driven agriculture of the south. This would have the potential therefore, to not only do a great good for a people suffering injustice but also to possibly lead America down a path of modernization and prosperity never before seen before. This would be a prosperity that would be aimed towards all Americans and not merely a small segment of the population. With Lincoln at the beginning and at the helm for those important years, he along with the other beginning Republicans set the stage for the party to drive this thrust for progress, prosperity and justice and the flexibility needed to accomplish this for many years to come.
In other words, Republicans used to be progressive, which is different from liberal. The Republicans came into power by being progressive. By shifting right and becoming hard-line conservative, the GOP will wither and possibly die, much like the Democratic Party withered for a time before the centrist "New Democrats" came onto the scene.
The Republican Party needs its moderates and centrists in order to survive.
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