Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Big Tent Party

A Republican fundraiser luncheon was held Friday, benefiting a Republican Womens group. The theme was "Under the Big Tent". A circus thread was weaving throughout the event. The "Ringmaster" was the Harris County District Attorney, Pat Lykos.

She has made headlines since her swearing in ceremony in January. Pat Lykos is a woman known for thinking outside the box and that can ruffle feathers of the well-entrenched. Most recently she made news for her ideas of dealing with first time offenders. She is the first woman to hold the office in Harris County and she is a hard working Republican woman. Besides her duties of event announcer on stage, she provided a brief speech that encouraged the GOP to work hard to defeat the dastardly policies of the current administration. She spoke of the defeat of Barry Goldwater and then the rising of Ronald Reagan after the disaster of Jimmy Carter - another 'hope and change' candidate. She is convinced that the election of Barack Obama will galvanize conservatives again and the Republican party will come back strong.

Former Solicitor General of Texas, Ted Cruz, was the keynote speaker. Cruz is running for State of Texas Attorney General. As has been noted previously in this blog, Cruz is a rising star in the Republican party. If the Democrats continue to push a candidate's life story over qualifications - like was done of Barack Obama - then Ted Cruz is certainly strong competition at that level, plus the added bonus that he has much high level, successful experience in his law career. He was the youngest Solicitor General for Texas and many have hopes of lots more years ahead of this young Republican.

Boy Scout Troop 641 did the Presentation of the Colors. Pat Lykos reminded us to stand with the Scouts as more troops continue to do push back from outside special interest groups.

Representative John Culberson was present and extended thanks to a local State Representative for her work on behalf of the Republican party when a fellow Republican needed some help during the recent Legislative Session.

The big tent theme was timely. As Republicans continue on with the circular firing squad, wasting valuable time better used to help rebuild the party, it is good to remember the history of the GOP. The original big tent party.

A statue of Ronald Reagan was unveiled at a White House ceremony last week. It would be beneficial for those most willing to invoke the name of Ronald Reagan - many not old enough to remember the Reagan years first hand - to stop with the lip service and walk the walk. The walk begins with acceptance of the Reagan idea of a big tent party. Reagan won by forming a coalition of conservatives from both parties and Independents, too. The term Reagan Democrats was born. Reagan was famous for saying that if a person agreed with him 80% of the time, he could work with that person.

It is only common sense, yet so many are blind to the concept today. Smarting from back to back election defeats, Republicans must fight the urge to go more extreme in dialogue. While social conservatism has a place in the GOP, it is not the original intent of the party. That fact is lost on the most strident. The GOP was founded on the core principles of small government, less taxation and strong national security. Too often for many in the party, usually those new to the party, the social issues rule the vote.

It is important to remember that within the Democratic party a strong number of social conservatives uphold the same social mores as Republicans. Finding common ground is not weakness, it is strength. Finding common ground is not selling out core principles, it is growing the party. Without more voters, victories at the polling stations will not exist. Without victories, our agenda is not moved through Congress. It is really as simple as that.

The GOP began by standing up against the expansion of slavery. The GOP was a progressive one, actually. The GOP was counter status quo. Abraham Lincoln personified the common sense principles that established the GOP. The Democrats have bought minority votes for decades with the introduction of huge social programs. Over the course of years, it is becoming more and more evident how destructive this idea of the government running lives has been to our country. The GOP must continue to reach out to all Americans and extend the hand of friendship to all who would join in the good fight.

The GOP is not a single issue party. A strong 50 state strategy, the kind the Obama campaign was astute enough to work, is needed. Republicans, like people in general, come in all shapes. A person running as a Republican in the Northeast will not necessarily have the same campaign as a Republican running in Texas. The same with those in the West. All are just as equally Republican and no one has the right to declare who is and isn't a 'real' Republican - as long as the basic founding principles of the party are held intact.

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