Missing: my Republican party. Please help me find it.
I have been a life-long Republican (I first voted in 1968), but lately I seem to have lost my party, and I’m hoping you can help me find it. Let me describe it for you.
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I am looking for a Republican party that balances individual initiative and accountability with a sense of community. Each of us is ultimately responsible for his or her success or failure, but we have a collective responsibility to provide the tools and opportunity, through various programs, to help the community at large succeed. This also means that in difficult economic times such as these we all must share equitably in the sacrifices.Skip to next paragraph
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I am looking for a Republican party that is not consumed by self-righteousness on social issues (see humility, above). Questions such as abortion and same-sex marriage are essentially religious ones, and we all should live according to our highest moral understanding. But political rhetoric that openly condemns others for their choice, in essence, attempts to impose one set of religious opinions on society as a whole.
I am looking for a Republican party that can craft a sensible immigration policy. While we should not encourage illegal immigration, and our borders should be secure, we must deal realistically with the undocumented immigrants already in the country through a rigorous process for obtaining legal residency; it is not practical to simply deport them all. Furthermore, we are desperately short of skilled scientific and technical people and should be encouraging the immigration of those with critical skills.
I am looking for a Republican party that is internationalist in its outlook. The United States, by virtue of its economic and military power, will continue to be the leading voice in world affairs for some time, but it is not the only one (see, again, humility, above). Our interests will never perfectly align with those of our allies, but we must forge a broad consensus that will forward our shared interest in freedom, stability, and economic prosperity.
I could go on, but this should give you a pretty good idea of what the party I lost looks like. If you see it, please let me know: I’d love to get it back.
And I suspect there are lifelong Democrats out there looking for their party, too, so keep an eye out for it as well.
Steven K. Brierley is a senior research physicist at a major defense electronics company. He enjoys the give and take of responsible politics.