Arthur Christopher Schaper: Mass. GOP–Don’t Be Dead, Dude!
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Conservative Boston Globe Columnist Jeff Jacoby assessed the terrible performance of the national and the Massachusetts GOP following the 2012 Election (Rhode Island GOP did not fare well, either).
Discussion should follow about “rebuilding” and “rebranding” the Republican Party, including a split away from the national GOP. In fact, the Massachusetts GOP rejected the national GOP platform on abortion, for example. Candidate Romney wanted the GOP platform to recognize exceptions in the cases of rape or incest as well as the life of the mother. Such a move is a “Live and Let Live” proposal in the “right” direction: good for everyone, including the Massachusetts GOP.
Just as a heart patient in cardiac arrest dies briefly when the doctors apply the defibrillator, so too a shock that strikes to the core of any organization, enough to bring forth death, allows for new life to flow. The GOP in the Northeast certainly endured another hefty shock with the defeat of Mr. Gabriel Gomez for the US Senate seat to replace John “I voted for it, then against it” Kerry. Let’s consider Gomez’ ten point loss of Mr. Gabriel Gomez to Ed “Malarkey, It’s Arithmetic, never saw a tax I didn’t like” Markey. Gomez was Democrat-lite, like a patient with consumption, who feels strong, then slumps again, Let’s admit it: Gomez was not a strong candidate to begin with: an Obama supporter with liberal views on gun control and climate change, who appealed to Democrat Governor Deval Patrick for the interim senate seat. He had too many strikes against him. As I wrote last week, “With Republicans like Gomez, who needs Democrats?” Gomez’ loss, however, can be a gain for the Mass GOP to stick with and stick up for conservative and libertarian principles.
Just as in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, two high school kids went from nearly failing, and one of them nearly dying, to passing their class and changing the course of history, so too the Mass GOP can rise again and even change the course of history for their party and the country. Frankly, sometimes death is just a part of life, and not the end, but the commencement of something better, just as the dead of winter gives way to the warmth of spring. Even Forrest Gump’s mother said as much before she passed on, and yet circumstance and fortune combined to take a Deep South hick from rages to riches. OK, OK, these are hokey illustrations, but still, stopping, changing, and starting anew is the way to renew a dead, or dying, or broken, or “whatever you want to call it” brand.
“Live and Let Live” should be the motto for the Northeast GOP, which will also help the national conference. Some supporters touted state senator Richard Tisei as a “Live and Let Live Republican.” Yet he had no problem with voting for tax increases. Where’s the fiscal conservatism in that? About marriage, I long for the day when Republicans will say: “Let’s get the government out of marriage altogether!” Why should single tax filers be punished because they never said “I Do!” at the altar? Besides, the gay marriage debate has infiltrated churches, threatening their tax exemption status or eroding their “First Amendment” protections. This debate needs to be discussed, and a libertarian, Northeastern GOP can lead the way.
A stronger brand of libertarianism is needed in the GOP, and the Northeast can get the ball rolling. With the decriminalization of marijuana in some states, and the passage of concealed-carry laws in many others (despite the virulence of the gun control lobby); with the rise of a surveillance state within the Obama Administration–AP phone records seized, Verizon-record spying, political intimidation from the IRS and the EPA, along with Fast and Furious and Benghazi–Americans have more reason to fear their government than before, but more importantly have a better reason for making the government afraid of them.
Former Congressman Ron Paul offered something libertarian, yet his foreign policy (“Let’s be friendly and trade with Iran”), was naive, and his youth-centered cult-like following concerned many Republicans. Ron’s son Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has advocated for a more libertarian stream in the Republican Party, yet his advocacy is tempered with integrity, as evidenced by his eleven-hour filibuster against the Obama administration for refusing to answer a simple question: could the President used drones in domestic strikes against American citizens?
Such “live and let live” libertarian boldness would provide wiggle-room on the social issues and foreign policy while also sand-bagging the Democratic Party as stale and obsolete, a party which has been pushing the liberal statist status quo, which is failing everyone. The Mass GOP, going from dead to “Live and Let Live” can turn the failures of the past into an “Excellent” future, one more libertarian, inclusive without being incisive or dismissive of those with differing opinions on certain issues.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.
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