This is the big one... PRINCIPLES and VALUES! Thats right, we use to have them, some of us still do, but the one's who write the laws, vote on the bills, pass the resolutions, well a majority of them have seem to left them at home. Even though this is the big one, its the simple one.
In his speech to CPAC in 1975 the great Ronald Reagan said, "Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people" He then went on to list fundemental elements that Conservatives should stand on. These principles were...
-Fiscal Integrity, sound money and the retirement of the national debt
-Permenent limits on the amount of money the govt can take from someone
-Simplification of the tax code
-Free Markets will always be the best provider for the people
-Stop the over-regulation of businesses which slow and sometimes stop growth
-Ward of socialism and promote private ownership of business
-We have the responsibility to protect our LAW ABIDING CITIZENS
-Maintaining whatever level of strength is neccessary to preserve freedom
He then went on to conclude his speech with, "I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way"
"LET THEM GO THEIR OWN WAY!" What a powerful statement. Unfortunitely we have left that. What use to be the Reagan rule, "If they get 8 out of 10 right, then thats doing good" became the "Big Tent" rule of "3 or 4 out of 10 works good enough" That rule led to Olympia Snowe, Arlen Spector and others.
We, as Republicans, for too long have allowed our Republican Office Holders (side note: this does not apply to every Rep Office holder, but an increasing majority of them) to move away from the principles.
With the election of Obama in Nov 08, a lot of these Republicans have started to find their way back to those values, but only time, and a majority will tell whether or not they will stick to them. For the sake of this country and the sake of the party I hope we will.
Over the next few years we need to start weeding out these officials who do not believe in the principles. We then must find truly conservative candidates that are willing to serve and hold these principles and can actually relate and relay to the general public why those policies work for all.
We must stand up and start shaking it up and we must do it now. It must start at the local level with county, city and township offices and work its way up to state then federal offices. I want to change one thing to what Ronald Reagan said. If we have Republicans who are not willing to stick to these values and principles, then we must make them "go their own way"