Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Letter

***From Pete Abel's project at Central Sanity, I'm not a Republican but I wish him well and those of you of his persuasion might join in. As a Democrat I believe that principled opposition is of paramount importance in political discourse and this could be a step in that direction. So, I give you:

The Letter

If you wish to add your name to the growing list of Republican and Independent voters who have already agreed to sign this letter, please email me at abel.reply"AT" "Signatures" should include your first and last name, e-mail address, city and state. Also, please let us know if we should list you as a Republican or Independent.

Once we have a minimum of 30 to 50 signatures, we will distribute the letter to the general recipients noted below.

TO: RNC Leaders, GOP Members of the U.S. House & Senate, GOP Governors

We, the undersigned, are moderate Republican and Independent voters who represent a growing force within the electorate.

Republican candidates will need to increasingly reckon with us in the months and years ahead, as we mobilize for no purpose less dramatic than the rescue of this Party and the refocusing of its platform on the bedrock principles of individual liberty and limited government; lower taxes and free markets; a strong national defense and collaborative foreign policy.

We intend this letter as an encouragement to GOP leaders who (a) embrace the principles outlined above; (b) recognize that the narrow-minded strategies of certain social conservatives have made the Party a shadow of its former self; (c) reject these social conservatives' alienating approach; and (d) prefer what former U.S. Senator John Danforth has labeled a politics of "reconciliation," a politics wherein we seek to emphasize what unites rather than what divides us. If you fit in this category, we encourage you to speak up and boldly state your beliefs, without equivocation. And if certain social conservatives attack you for doing so, we – the real base – will be there to lend our support.

We believe the wise use of taxpayer dollars requires our government to avoid deficits and the enormous and unnecessary burden those deficits will place on future generations.

We believe in personal responsibility, self-reliance, capitalism, and the power of markets – markets that are allowed to operate with the least possible degree of regulation that is necessary to safeguard fair play and equal opportunity.

We believe in prudent actions that advance our national security, grounded in a foreign policy that, quoting former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, is "premised on the understanding that the rest of the world matters to us," and that thus we should guard "against becoming ensnared in nation-building enterprises and push for policies that engage us with the world community and show, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, 'a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.'"

We believe in the U.S. Constitution, its checks and balances, and importantly, the protections it affords our citizens such as habeas corpus. We further believe habeas corpus and other fundamental cornerstones of our Republic should be carefully guarded and delicately balanced during both times of peace and times of war, especially during extended, complex, and largely open-ended conflicts like today's war on terror.

We believe in maximizing personal liberty and minimizing government interference in our private lives, including the lives of pregnant women, terminally ill patients, gays, lesbians, and all other categories of responsible, law-abiding adults. Again quoting Governor Whitman: "The defining feature of the conservative viewpoint is a faith in the ability, and a respect for the right, of individuals to make their own decisions – economic, social, and spiritual – about their lives. The true conservative understands that government's track record in respecting individual rights is poor when it dictates individual choices. Accordingly, the conservative desires to limit government's reach as much as possible. Traditional conservatives adhere to the maxim, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that government governs best that governs least."

We further believe that the truest pro-life position is one which allows and encourages the ethical pursuit of all scientific research that holds promise for mitigating diseases that afflict our families and friends.

We believe the education of our young people is critical to our future as a nation and that realistic, fiscally conservative policies should be developed to further advance educational standards, opportunities, and access, from the lowest grades to the highest, from kindergarten through college.

We believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our citizens, with an emphasis on children, seniors, and others who are truly in need and cannot otherwise afford health care.

We also believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our environment, with careful attention paid to protecting our economic vitality and objective analyses of the pro's and con's of alternative energy sources.

In summary, we embrace what management guru Jim Collins – in his bestselling book Built to Last – called the "Genius of the AND." We believe the GOP and its members can and should be simultaneously pro-choice and pro-life; pro-environment and pro-economy; pro-family and pro-liberty; pro-budget and pro-opportunity; pro-security and pro-Constitution. These beliefs need not be contradictory nor exclusive.

If you are and/or know an incumbent or prospective Republican candidate who shares these beliefs and wants the larger GOP to stand united behind him or her, we encourage you to let us know, so we can add you and/or those you know to the roster of leaders we will support with our votes, voices, volunteers, and dollars.

***If you'd like to comment here, that's acceptable, but if you wish to help out - do so over There ***

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