Comment: Chastising moderates within the Republican Party driving away independents

Steve Jackson

Elephant in the Room
with Steve Jackson

“Progressives like Megan McCain (on The O’Reilly Factor last night) in the GOP are flourishing. Like Ronald Reagan in the 1976 Republican National Convention, I reject Progressives and their surrogates who say we must broaden the base of our party, when they seemingly wish to blur the differences between our opponents and us in order to make us more like them. We must resist this strategy, but instead ...‘raise a banner of bold, unmistakable colors with no pastel shades.’”
—John Willoughby

John Willoughby posted this message to supporters and friends yesterday on Facebook, denouncing Meghan McCain and “Progressives” in the GOP. She is the Republican daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain who, earlier this year, came out in support of gay rights with her mother and spoke to ABC yesterday about Sarah Palin.

Mr. Willoughby is running in the Republican primary against former reporter and moderate Republican candidate Ramsay Wharton to compete against Democrat Mazie Hirono for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

As a very young, inexperienced Republican, I feel like my side of the spectrum and Republican chances overall are being marginalized. The “Progressive” and “RINO” (Republican in name only) tags seem to be thrown around at anyone who doesn’t cow tow to the conservative or Christian faction of the party. I don’t believe that kind of rigid conservatism is good for our party, or our country. I think that any political capital or momentum gained recently stems not through total rejection of Democratic social values, but through economic failures and a rejection of the healthcare bill.

Conservatives taking advantage of the Tea Party to promote social values do nothing but drive independents to the other side. After all, aren’t restrictions on liberty the arguments for a free market and against the healthcare bill? It seems a little contradicting to attack government for its posture on economic freedom while attacking it for its lack of control on social freedom.

Having said that, I don’t have a problem supporting a candidate with views that aren’t the spitting image of my own, I have a problem with candidates who won’t work with or fail to understand any difference of opinion.

Personally, I have no problem with the values of a person’s religion playing a role in the decision making process. After all, most politicians on both sides of the isle, (including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and many other “Progressives”) playing a role in the decision making process.

Our country is a country of interests; our economy and government are based on the neutralizing power of competing interest.

I think that religious organizations, like unions and corporations, should be able to have a voice in politics. We are a nation of free speech and liberty; I believe that liberty should be extended to the collective representative voice of organizations representing many people.

Many people feel that lobbies, interests, and organizations should not play any part in politics…or that all interest is corrupt. I feel that, realistically, our nation is based on interests. Our parties have interests and opinions, our people have interests and opinions, and our government was one meant to offer asylum to those interests through free speech.

Mr. Willoughby would do well to look at the results of the more Republican Charles Djou’s victory in the more conservative 1st District—30 percent of voters voted for Ed Case. Candidate Willoughby will need independents to win an election against Hirono. Chastising moderates within the Republican party will most likely drive them away. As a moderate, I have no choice but to withdraw my support for Mr. Willoughby and instead give it to Ms. Wharton.