One of the most hackneyed of political quotations is Disraeli's dictum that the Tory party "is a national party or it is nothing." Yet it means more than the obvious truths that Conservatives must put the interests of the whole nation first and must seek their electoral support among all classes and sections of the community. It means also that the party cannot long survive unless its policies are in tune with the deepest and best instincts of the British people. . . . My kind of Tory party would make no secret of its belief in individual freedom and individual prosperity, in the maintenance of law and order, in the wide distribution of private property, in rewards for energy, skill and thrift, in diversity of choice, in the preservation of local rights in local communities. Size is not all, any more than economic growth is all. Even efficiency is not enough. People come first—their needs, their hopes, their choice, their values and ideals. We have to understand these first—to be seen to be listening with sympathy and concern. It is important to be able to lead, certainly. But you cannot for long lead people where they do not want to go.I have the highest respect for Margaret Thatcher and her political wisdom. Substitute the word "Tory" with the word "Republican". Do you understand what she is saying? A huge barrier the Republican party faces today is the lack of communication skills in our speakers. If we do not learn to get our message across to the population, we will continue to shrink as a party and as the agenda-setters. Nothing could be clearer as the last presidential election.
Peggy Noonan notes this about the lack of basic tact in today's political discourse:
One of the biggest things often missing in politics? Tact. Simple tact. This is one of many reasons it would be good to see more Republican women rise and speak for the party: because they still have more of it than the men.In the last few days, immigration reform has been the topic of several speeches delivered by those offering the path forward. For instance, I have recently heard remarks delivered by Rep Paul Ryan, Senator Marco Rubio and former president George W. Bush. All call for common sense, compassionate immigration policy reform. Especially when it comes to the children born and raised here, with no knowledge or experience in another country, we must find a path with perimeters that allows them to transition into full community status.
I read this on Facebook today: from the George W. Bush Presidential Center: Did you know that more than 40% of all companies on the 2010 Fortune 500 list were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant? Read more in the 4% Growth Project's Immigration Handbook.
You may remember that Bush attempted to push immigration reform during his time in the White House but due to bad messaging and poorly written policy, the legislation went nowhere. You may also remember that he received 40% of the Latino vote as a presidential candidate, and over 60% as a candidate for Texas governor.
Senator Rubio's remarks made at the 2012 Jack Kemp Foundation Dinner are HERE.
It's a crucial issue and it's time for Republicans to be on the offense, not defense. It's a start.