Republicans may take solace in a recent Gallup poll that showed 40 percent of Americans identify as conservative, 35 percent as moderate and only 21 percent identify as liberal—but those numbers provide a false sense of comfort.
While most Americans do identify as conservative, they still chose a politically leftward president in 2008 and 2012. Americans approve of President Barack Obama by 50 percent, polls by Gallup show, and disapprove by only 42 percent.
More importantly, they approve of his “radically liberal” policies. Americans want the federal deficit and debts taken care of, but Gallup research shows a majority favors the president’s measured approach of both cuts and tax increases rather than the slash and burn approach of the Republican Party.
The Grand Old Party does need to moderate on a variety of issues if it expects to be competitive in national elections and attract independent voters. With a clumsy primary process, it has exorcised too many of its moderate members who held elected office; it has been puritanical in nature. Which is why, for the sake of relevancy, the party desperately needs to reform.
The redeemer of the party will not reside in a state house, the Governor’s mansion or the House of Representatives. Attention has been correctly paid to three senators: Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.
So far, Cruz has unfortunately proven himself to be little more than another “no” vote in a Republican filibuster in the senate.
His treatment of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska and nominee for secretary of defense, has been McCarthyite, as many op-eds have noted.
It is ludicrous to watch Republicans block a fellow Republican (because he was selected by a Democratic president) from being placed in one of the most important cabinet positions. Republicans could not ask for more influence over defense policy, but they’re rejecting Hagel anyway.
Rubio has the potential to be different. His rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union speech left much to be desired, but there is still the possibility he will act responsibly on immigration reform.
If they truly want immigration reform, Republicans like Rubio must back off from the punitive nature of their demands. An undocumented immigrant’s crime is more akin to cutting in line than any immoral infraction.
If only the Kentucky Republican Paul would ditch his father’s kooky conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve System, he would be a much more palatable candidate.
Considering each developed country has a central bank, it is inconceivable that the U.S. will end the Fed. Still, Paul has been one of the few respectable members of the Republican Party on the issue of civil liberties.
On my 2012 ballot, I checked boxes for both Democrats and Republicans, but the Republican Party, with each “no” vote, with each crazy comment about evolution and climate change, makes it harder and harder to check that box for them.
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