I knew as I typed the words “big tent” yesterday I was asking for a bunch of comments and messages in my inbox. If you were to come up to me on the street and ask me if I was a big tent Republican I’d probably give you weird look and tell you no.
If asked what type of Republican I am, I would tell you that I’m pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. I’m a fiscal conservative who believes in less regulation and lower-flatter and simpler taxes. I also believe that America has a role to play in the world. I’m a Hawk who firmly believes in peace through strength. I’m also an advocate of a limited federal government. Our current policies are incrementally creating a socialist nanny state that I don’t want any part of. Simply put I’m a Republican because I believe that every citizen of this country has the personal responsibility to make this a better nation.
When talking about the “big tent” I’m referring to every member/activist of Republican Party in Iowa. I look at party politics much like a business. Our good friends at Casey’s don’t just sell their delicious pizza to those who make $40,000 or more per year, they sell them to anyone who wants one. The same approach must be used in party politics. We need encourage as many people as possible to identify themselves as Republicans. It’s counterproductive for the Republican Party to be exclusive because its sole purpose is to win elections, which means we need more people to vote for our Republican candidates than vote for Democrat candidates.
Where we as activists must be diligent is in properly vetting our Republican candidates. This is also where the platform comes in. We as party activists (voters) have every right to demand that our candidates support the core issues that make up our Republican platform. So if a candidate has a history of not supporting the core issues of our party we need to confront them and inquire why they hold those particular positions or what caused them to change their positions.
The current squabbles within the Republican Party in Iowa are symbolic of the problems we as a party face, but it is important to understand that the election of Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehman and National Committee people are not the root cause of the problem. The problem stems from a heavy dose of Bush fatigue, coupled with an a$$ kickin in November of 2006, with a dollop of contentious caucus campaigns.
Just read the comment section of this blog. Some Romney supporters still feel the need to call Mike Huckabee a Christian socialist months after his campaign has ended. On the other hand, many Huckabee supporters still call Romney a flip flopper. And the only thing that most people can agree on is that Ron Paul is a freak and John McCain sucks. I can’t believe that that we as Iowa Republicans went through the entire caucus exercise and were unable to physically grow our party. How pathetic.
Why is it impossible for supporters of Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and John McCain to unite around our Republican nominee? I’m not satisfied 100% with our nominee, but John McCain is a much better than 4 years of Barack Obama and his liberal agenda.
It is the mission of the Republican Party to attract as many people as possible to be active Republicans. It’s about winning elections folks, which is something we have not done in a long, long time. Where the “big tent” philosophy isn’t welcomed is when it comes to our candidates. Our Republican candidates are the products which the voters buy off the shelves, but it is important that those products contain the same common ingredients. It is the Republican Party’s responsibility to get as many people as possible to purchase their products.
It is now time to unite under the banner of the Republican Party and do what we can to elect our Republican candidates.