Dear Chairman Steele,
Congratulations on your election as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and I wish you much success as you take on the task of recharging the Republican Party...the Grand Old Party...the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan. It absolutely amazes me how it's near impossible to say or even think Republican and not immediately picture President Reagan. Yes...those were the good old days...supply side economics, battling the 'evil empire', busting up labor unions and bombing Muammar Gaddafi back into the Stone Ages. I still remember, as if it were yesterday, the electoral vote map after the 1984 Presidential landslide election showing every state red...well except Minnesota and Washington DC which are self explanatory...but I digress.
Mr. Steele you have an unenviable task to say the least. Republicans are disoriented, confused, perplexed and just down right lost. Sure, it's easy to blame all the party's ills on poor G.W. or even Karl Rove, but is that fair? Congress was controlled by Republicans for six of W's eight years, and our government grew at an astounding rate. Republicans acted like Democrats, Democrats talked like Republicans. How can that be? Isn't the GOP the party of conservatives? Of less government is better government?
As a conservative, a true conservative, I feel...well...somewhat abandoned. I must confess to being a Blue Dog Democrat in my younger days, but I began to see changes in the Democratic Party platform that didn't reflect my own values. Either from a misunderstanding of the Republican Party or believing the Democrat's propaganda, I didn't feel successful enough or wealthy enough to be a Republican. Plus, I was raised in a blue collar family of staunch Harry Truman Democrats...pre-Camelot stuff. Changing parties was an unpardonable act to the family...my heritage. I know, to some extent, you can empathize with my feelings of isolation. The alienation you must feel having Oreos thrown at you in certain crowds with the implication that you're 'black on the outside, but white on the inside.' It's deplorable, despicable and denigrating (at the risk of sounding like Jessee Jackson). But for me, Ronald Reagan changed all that...again though, I digress.
Mr. Chairman, as Republicans, are we conservatives? Understanding your recent tiff with talking-head blowhard Rush Limbaugh, I don't mean do we speak conservative...but are we to vote, lobby and govern as true conservative? You will play a major part in defining the party's platform, and unless you 'man up' a lot more than you did after waffling on the Limbaugh call out...well...the Log Cabin Republicans may end up with more say in the party than I'm personally comfortable accepting. What Rush said was wrong...plain and simple. If President Obama completely fails, a lot of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, will be hurt even more financially. If the Commander in Chief fails, military men and women die in service to their country. That, sir, is unacceptable to say... much less accept as a premise.
There are other ways to win back the White House and Congress without malicious talk and vindictiveness. Please start the process by defining what it is to be a Republican. If that is synonymous with conservative, then hold elected Republicans accountable in the public forum. Call them out and stand by your convictions...Republican convictions. President Reagan governed by his convictions, right or wrong, and Americans followed. Mr. Steele, be a Ronald Reagan...lead the charge to win back the White House...win one for the Gipper.
Mr. Chairman, I leave you with a single visual to emphasize my plea. Who will be the face of the Republican Party under your watch?
I'm afraid if it is the latter, I will be forced to change yet again...to the Libertarian Party.
Tony C Today
P.S. That very picture of President Reagan still proudly adorns my walls. I have more than one.