THE BUZZ: Extremes

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The Friday blog is late due to some technical difficulties.  Thanks to our Web Guru Stewart Rauh for the help.

-The cold is the place to start.  It was BRUTAL this morning when I left the house.  Tomorrow is Groundhog Day and if you believe a small rodent’s predictions…you’re likely to find six more weeks of winter.  I suppose this is what makes warmer days of spring so enjoyable.  We are about three weeks from a beach and the 80’s.  I can’t wait.

  -The thing I really wanted to write about was a story I found yesterday.  Tony Perkins of The Family Research Council came out linked the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” with an increased number off US Military members committing suicide.  

Now, people are entitled to their opinion.  If the FRC wants to say something this disrespectful about the tragic deaths of members of the US Military I suppose they can.  What totally confounds me is that mainstream Republicans aren’t running away from these people and their support.  No one is standing up and saying, “we don’t need these kinds of voices in our party”.  No one is saying, “these people should be ashamed”.  Too much money at stake I suppose.  Republicans are worried for some reason that if they come out against FRC, that they will be tagged as “pro-gay” and will be challenged from the right.    

FRC is a conservative group.  They support conservative causes and are often associated with the “base” of the Republican party.  But if you identify yourself as a Republican do you believe this? 

I happened to see the article about the same time I was listening to a panel of Republicans on NPR talk about the things their party needed to do to attract more voters.  Caller after caller said they believed in conservative principles of limited government, lower taxes and personal freedom, but they also said the GOP’s stance on things like reproductive choice, same-sex marriage and climate change kept them from voting for Republican candidates.  After each caller, it was as if the Republican panel didn’t hear what was being said. They just kept rolling out the same old phrases, talking about a “big tent” and being the “party of freedom” .  If Republicans are serious about finding more voters on election day they have to widen their horizon.  That doesn’t mean compromising principles. 

If Republicans took the stance that the legal option of abortion is here to stay, but decided they would push reforms aimed at making sure young women had the information and resources to avoid unwanted pregnancy…who is going to argue with that?  If the number of abortions is drastically reduced and women are empowered, isn’t both valuing life and personal freedom?  A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of taking away the choice to have an abortion, but do you know anyone who says that they view abortion as a form of birth control?

If Republicans acknowledged same-sex marriage is here to stay, they might find families formed through those unions are more conservative than they think…I know very few people whose view become less conservative when faced with things like home ownership, property taxes and raising kids.  

If Republicans would come to terms with the fact that The Federal Government needs to exist, and that some government programs work to the benefit of its citizens, they might find the kind of success Republican Governors are having on the state-government level.  The tone in conservative Washington is to say no to ANY kind of government.   

Maybe on a fundamental level the problem is that if you don’t adhere to a specific view…the exact view that some conservatives believe in…you are the enemy.  Any movement would be a compromise of principles.  I am no expert but is it possible this is what’s scaring a lot of conservative leaning Americans away?  

Until leaders of the party stand up and reject these kinds of extreme views; until they find ways to bring a broader base of views under the GOP banner; it’s hard to see how results of elections will go the GOP’s way.  

My interest is selfish, I want to cover competitive races.  It’s just something I’ve been thinking about.  I’m sure some of you will think this is way off base, and I would love to hear your opinion.  

Have a great weekend!


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