Grassroots Network of the Republican Party of Virginia

Is it an oxymoron to promote critical thinking among fellow GOP activists and remain Republican?

Questions such as this one was heard from many during my distributing sample ballots to people waiting in the long lines last month to vote. I was particularly concerned when more than a few Republicans indicated they were not supporting our GOP presidential nominee.

Many shared the increasingly popular opinion the GOP has tilted too far too to the right or lack an understanding for the need to involve folks from other cultures.

If the Republican Party is going to survive or return to its former days of glory its going to require developing an imagination or willingness to open our ranks to people whose conservative thinking could very well be less rigid than most current Republicans.

Utilizing this wonderful networking mechanism could serve a great start towards attracting folks too timid or intimidated if they chose to candidly express different thoughts. Its not abandoning our conservative principles to welcome people whose thinking may not totally align with own own.

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Comment by Donald E. Scoggins on December 29, 2008 at 1:13am
Sandy - most of my frustrations stem from the fact I saw our party's present dilemma developing years ago and more recently during Senator Allen's election defeat. Despite continued Democratic Party efforts depicting the GOP as racists its the party's lack of sufficient rebuttal that encourages these falsehoods. Also, given the darn near impossibility to significantly involve minorities in the party's governing mechanism sends a poor message too. If RPV elected central committee members from state legislative districts I am confident more folks mirroring Virginia's diverse population would eventually become included. As one would say for Pete's sakes its 2009 what is cause for such push back? Are we going to have to wait for the Republican Party to disappear to realize we got a problem attracting folks including young whites and financially conservative older whites. I will continue to complain until the party becomes at least ten to fifteen percent minority.
Comment by Sandy Cope on December 23, 2008 at 8:50am
Donald- I also want to add that the view that the Republican Party is racist is mostly a Liberal definition of the party. The Obama campaign this year absolutely promoted that view from the backdoor, and was also carried on a wave with the Liberal Media. There is no question that the Republicans did not even try to dissuade people from that view, but I have faith that with people like you and Coby, we will find the path to an all inclusive party. Yikes- we have alot of work to do, and alot of minds to change.
Comment by Sandy Cope on December 23, 2008 at 8:40am
Donald- Absolutely, we must search out and support those minorities that have choosen to run for public office, not because we need the votes, or as tokens, but because they are qualified, Republican/Conservative candidates. On Coby's thread I talked about Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, an African American woman who ran for a House Seat in Georgia. I cannot say that I know everything about her, as my introduction to her was from an NBRA mailing, and then I checked her terrific website. As far as I know, she was all on her own with fundraising and campaigning, and the Democrat outdid her on all counts (as did most Democrat candidates this year). There are so many PAC's that say they will search out and financially support good Republican candidates. Where was the support for Dr. Honeycutt? According to her website, she may consider running again. I hope the RNC is there for her next time. It's not that we don't have some good prospective candidates of every color, we just seem to want to support the incumbents whoever they are and whatever they did.

There is not one Republican African American in Congress, as far as I know. A Republican Vietnamese man won a house seat in a special election recently, and I read that he is having a hard time being invited to join any committees. This must change.
Comment by Deborah Munoz on December 23, 2008 at 5:50am
Need to involve people from other cultures? No argument there, but what does that mean? Are we to compromise our principles on smaller government, lower taxes, personal liberty and national sovereignty in order to attract people from whatever ethnic background they come from? I'm for reaching out to EVERYBODY and telling them what we believe in. If they agree they will join us, if they don't, they won't.
Ted: Herein lies the problem. There are many new citizens who have a misperception of what the Republican Party is and we need to do more than just hope they will join us, or wait for them to join us. We need a grass roots effort to extend our hand and let them know we are welcoming and warm people. When you use the words "reaching out," you are right on the money. We all need to reach out and we need to it individually every chance you get. Please visit our Hispanic coalition group page and join the effort.
Comment by Gregory J. Nawn on December 22, 2008 at 11:46pm
Good point. Thanks.
Comment by Donald E. Scoggins on December 13, 2008 at 11:20am
Adding to Sandy's comments:

Since my picture doesn't yet appear on this network maybe I should state being a minority. I mention this because my frame of reference regarding the GOP could be somewhat different than most in the party today. For us to regain our public influence the Republican Party must broadcast its open to folks with varying views. Of course we hold certain traditional values regarding economics. If we read history we will learn the GOP was founded primarily to abolish slavery. In other words we are the party of freedom and liberty. All other principles we tout today come from these two precepts.

Conceding this country's population has grown tremendously since the 19th century we must reintroduce to the public what the Republican Party truly represents. Sorry to state most minorities and other folks too believe the GOP represents racism. We need to get this out on the table and stop acting as if this view doesn't exist. If we keep this issue hidden the party will be forever haunted by it. We got to define ourselves since certainly the other party will and not to our desires.

All this other political party talk is useful yet ancillary since within thirty or forty years this country will be majority minority. I am dismayed too by this seemingly sudden demographic. If we think this nation's going socialist we better start now figuring out how to put more folks of color in positions of political and Republican party influence.
Comment by The Bulletproof Monk on December 11, 2008 at 4:56pm
"Are we to compromise our principles on smaller government, lower taxes, personal liberty and national sovereignty in order to attract people from whatever ethnic background they come from?"
No need to do so on these issues. The very issues listed above are the very tenets that Republicans can win on as they stand. Now, when we get myopic on abortion and attempt to take the moral high ground, only to see members of our own Party fail to achieve that bar in front of voters ...we begin to fail. After all, we're the ones that wanted the bar set that high.

The general reaction from the voters when a republican fails to measure up to the moral level that the Party insisted on? They shake their heads and mutter "hypocrite".

So, I suppose in a shorter answer, why don't we just concentrate on keeping Government smaller, keeping taxes lower, and establishing a gentler report with our voting public. If we do that, and lay off of the heavy handed "butting in" of their personal lives, we don't have to compromise on the very issues that Tom makes above (in the Republican Creed)...because our position on THOSE issues is strong, and we can win by espousing them to the voters.
Comment by Tom Whitmore on December 11, 2008 at 11:19am
Lest we forget, this is who we are, what we stand for:

The Virginia Republican Creed
We Believe . . .

-That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice
-That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society
-That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government
-That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing constitutional limitations
-That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense
-That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fibre of the Nation

Do not confuse positions on social issues with our rock solid principles, that a large majority of Americans are very comfortable with and practice in their daily lives! What we need to do to go forward, is to stick steadfastly to those principles and be tolerant of other views concerning social issues. Lose sight of this ,and the battle is lost!
Comment by Sandy Cope on December 11, 2008 at 11:16am
Donald- While there seems to be a raging discussion/battle going on between what are considered Moderate Republicans as opposed to Conservative Republicans, there was an online survey at Town Hall website shortly after the election. I have been searching for it, but cannot find a link to it. I believe that the question was- Why did the Republicans lose the election? The choices were - Is the Republican Party to Conservative? Is the Republican Party not Conservative enough? And a big majority choose the answer- The Republican Party has lost it way? I believe that we have all seen many surveys and polls since the election that show the country is still right of center. The majority of Republicans identify themselves as Conservatives.

I will not again go into McCain's positions prior to and while campaigning, however, an overwhelming majority of Republican voters did not consider McCain to be a Conservative. President Bush has also been considered not conservative enough. Bush was a Social Conservative and a Defense Conservative but dismally failed the test of Economic Conservatism.

IMHO I would not try to hard to figure out why the Republicans lost the Presidential election this year. What I consider the accidential candidate this year was mostly seen as a Reagan Democrat. President Bush economically started a push to the left long ago, and hence has the lowest approval ratings seen in a long time. I think that Obama won because he was seen as the real leftist, therefore why vote for the Lite version.

There will always be a Republican element that are one issue voters, and that may apply to Democrats as well. The problem with McCain was that he had too many positions that were not even Republican. Look at the Republican Party 2008 Platform and you will see many examples.

For the GOP to become the winning party again, we must identify those that most closely fit the party positions, and then get behind them early and often. Because the Republican voters are well informed, and research their candidates, those that claim a recent marriage to conservative ideas will find themselves on the dust pile. We have some that have already made noises about a 2012 run, we can save them alot of campaign cash and let them know that they were not acceptable before, they are no more acceptable now. Obama really started his campaign at the 2004 DNC with his magical speech. It will be critical for us to identify those who we can support, and start promoting them soon. Those Republicans that voted for Obama most likely would not have voted for McCain even if they agreed with him 99% of the time. They were caught up in the Obama spell. Hopefully Sarah Palin will continue to cast her spell on everyone right through election day 2012. Lord knows, she has already been vetted and then some. She is a terrific communicator.
Comment by Jody L. Wilcox on December 11, 2008 at 10:47am
I think it is more an issue of the GOP grabbing the hands that are being extended TO us as oppose to outreach that will save the GOP. Most people, no matter what race, creed or color, actually live conservative lifestyles and thus are naturally more aligned with the GOP but what we fail to do is show them how our policies and beliefs are aligned with how they life their lives. We need people to think how they live and not so much in the bubble of "what ifs"....once we cross the divide of showing how the implementation of liberal and democratic policies, in practice, actually hurt the American people in the long term and that conservative and Republican policies foster long term growth and prosperity only them can we grow as a party and sustain that growth. There is a bigger issue here than getting more people to put up signs, contribute money or vote...the GOP needs to, as Reagan once did, change the river of change to express WHY the GOP is the only choice for the success of America as we know and love it.

...God Bless








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