Monday, May 15, 2006

Another Unity Tangent

I got this quote via email and thought I'd share it. But let's play a game. Guess who said this:
"And just to set the record straight, let me say this about our friends who are now Republicans but who do not identify themselves as conservatives: I want the record to show that I do not view the new revitalized Republican Party as one based on a principle of exclusion.

After all, you do not get to be a majority party by searching for groups you won't associate or work with. If we truly believe in our principles, we should sit down and talk. Talk with anyone, anywhere, at any time if it means talking about the principles for the Republican Party. Conservatism is not a narrow ideology, nor is it the exclusive property of conservative activists."
It is, after all, about education and having the debate... That is the way I interpret this quote.

So...who said it and what does it really mean?

4 comments:

Steven J. Kelso Sr. said...

Sounds like the Gipper.

I shall talk anytime, anywhere. I will not, however, abhandon my principles for electoral progress. I compromise constantly; now it is time for the other side to do a little compromising.

Can I have some of that freedom back please?

Phil Prenger said...

Yep, it's Reagan (I cheated and googled it).

Now, the crux of that statement, to me, is this: "Talk with anyone, anywhere, at any time if it means talking about the principles for the Republican Party."

Of course in politics you have to compromise from time to time if you want to get anything done. But the idea is to move the political center to the right and advance your principles bit by bit. The best example of conservative success in this area has been tax cuts - if I tell people that the top tax rate as recently as 1980 was 70%, or that it was over 90% during WWII, they are dumbfounded.

So when you're compromising and meeting with groups pursuing different agendas and goals, you have to stand on principle and try to get a deal as close to your ideals as you can possibly get. The more you surrender to the other side, the more they'll expect you to give in during the next round.

The Republican coalition does have diverse groups within it - economic conservatives who distrust social conservatives and vice versa, or people who think our country should have a strong defense and can't stomach the Democrats anymore. Each of these groups will push for the party to move in favor of its goals.

But as the Republicans' largest bloc of voters and, generally, their most loyal supporters, it is proper for conservatives to try and make the party bend to their will, or to feel betrayed when their principles are abandoned.

I feel like I'm rambling, so I'd better stop now.

Steven J. Kelso Sr. said...

Well said!

Phil Prenger said...

I should have added (before worries of rambling set in), that while I hope and expect the Republican party to push conservative principles, I don't think conservatives should abandon the party when it fails, as it will inevitably do now and again.

I think it's important to support Mike DeWine, both because Sherrod Brown would be immeasurably worse in the Senate and because I would rather the Republicans have the Senate majority.

If conservatives want to punish a Senator (like a DeWine or a Specter or a Chafee) who has ventured too far from the principles his party is supposed to defend, the time to take him on is in the primary.