Arthur Schaper: Live Free, Live Long, Win Big, MA GOP
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Three Republicans did step up to run, yet why did winning Republican Gabriel Gomez fail to “Re-Brown” the Bay state as state senator Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) had done three years prior? In 2010, Brown was running against Obama, not just Martha Coakley. Massachusetts already had Romneycare, and Obamacare was unpopular with Bay State voters (and it sounds as if Romneycare-turned-Patrickcare is hurting people’s health care all the more). Even Congressman (I mean, Senator, Yikes!) Edward Markey detested the medical device tax in Obamacare (yet he voted for it, even though he was against it). Brown was not just good on paper or in photo. He was good in person, in purpose, and on policy. He knew people. He cared about the issues, and he was real.
It’s too bad that Brown chose to run against his own party, himself, and Liz Warren in 2012. Still, the National Party platform needs some revising, as it hurts Northeastern candidates somewhat. The Mass GOP did the right thing by rejecting some of the social conservative elements of the National GOP platform. There is nothing immoral about recognizing abortion in some cases – rape, incest, life of the mother. Governor Christie in New Jersey honors those exceptions, as did Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his running mate Mitt Romney. Even state senator and failed Congressional candidate Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield), a pro-choice Republican, rebuffed ABC’s John Carl when the reporter asked Tisei if he was “pro-abortion”. He disagreed: “It’s her choice.” Admirably, US Senate candidate Gomez was pro-life, but a man who solicited “Mister Governor” Deval Patrick for an interim Senate seat as an early Obama supporter soured many voters (and me).
The June 25 voter turnout was low. Massachusetts voters are burned out, but they should get burned up with Beacon Hill and Washington, which spends welfare dollars on terrorists and dishes on amnesty, betraying their daily amnesia for the plight and flight of Bay State residents. Moreover, Democrats spent $11 million, and Bill Clinton and Obama stumped for Markey, who won by only ten points in three-to-one Democratic Massachusetts. 2014 should prove interesting indeed, as Democrats have raised taxes on computer software and gas, and Patrick rejected implementing key welfare reforms. He’s leaving office (Hallelujah!), and Republican Scott Brown, who remains very popular, can take the corner office.
Republicans can win on some many issues in Massachusetts, anyway. What can they do to stem the Azure tide of Democrat blue in their state? MassLive.com reported on the frank discussions going back and forth among Republican operatives in Massachusetts following their second US Senate seat loss in a year. Three clear assessments stood out, and all of them are correct.
There are the demographics. An 11% Republican registration is disheartening. How to bring up registration, then?
Here comes the second issue: organization.
Everyone wants to be a Congressman, US Senator, or Governor. What about school board member, city councilman, or state legislator? These positions are key stepping stones to any political career, and the local, grassroots are just as important as statewide campaigns. When town and country Republicans make their mark, voters see that the real hope and change belongs with Republicans: fiscally sound, morally responsible, fully accountable and available.
In my state, there is no greater contrast in Democratic and Republican management than Bell vs. Downey, CA. Bell is all an all Democrat run city, a months-long front-page laughing-stock because of corrupt city officials who took in six-figure salaries while taxing impoverished, working-class community. Downey is an all Republican city, with no debt or structural issues keeping people down, prosperous and safe. With local Republicans in charge, everyone wins. Local Republicans become statewide winners every time.
Then there’s the messaging problem. Republican US Senate candidate Michael Sullivan could not have phrased in better about Gabriel Gomez: “Obama Republican.” If you are liberal, then be liberal. If you are a Republican, then you cannot support Obama. That’s just schizophrenia! Republicans need to be consistent, limited government advocates all the way.
In addition, Libertarian party candidates have taken away some wins from some Mass Republicans. Time to take their ideas. Libertarianism is the core of conservativism, Ronald Reagan declared. US Senator Edward Brooke counseled that every party has to have a head and a heart. “Live Free and Live Long” should be the new mantra for the Massachusetts GOP, who can bring back the heart of the Republican Party by defederalizing marriage (then get the government out of it altogether), end the draconian war on drug laws, and re-enfranchise law-abiding, tax-paying felons. Enacting welfare-to-work programs would ensure an orderly transition from dependence to prosperity, too.
A more Libertarian Republican brand can resolve the registration, organization, and messaging issues for Massachusetts Republicans, whose new mantra should be: Live Free, Live Long, and Win, Mass GOP!
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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