Do the views of Colin Powell represent the Republican Party’s best way to future success? Is the party too narrow and exclusive?
Colin Powell is by any measure a distinguished American who, I think, has earned the right to be heard and his opinions considered. But his political prescriptions for the GOP are not the way to victory over the Democrats, especially if we follow his example and campaign for and vote for their Presidential candidate. Powell’s Republican credentials are subject to serious doubt as a result of his support for Obama, despite his claims to the contrary. The party is said to be too narrow in its outreach to various groups, but the GOP should base its appeal on what is best for America, not simply what best serves some group.
The future of the GOP, I believe, will be decided not by what interest groups or demographics the party tries to appeal to, but by the party’s ability to effectively support candidates who articulate conservative beliefs and then advance the cause after they are elected. Conservatives have a different view of the functions of government and public officials from that of liberals.
The liberal tendency is to rule over us to the point of oppression, for our own good, of course, controlling as many aspects of our lives as possible, from auto mileage to toilet tank size, and so on. Conservatives have several basic principles, none of which include micro-managing people’s daily activities or private companies, let alone nationalizing them. Conservatives would be more likely to privatize some things the government already tries to run. This is a distinction that is too often lost or overlooked, simply because we’ve been conditioned over a number of years to accept a far bigger role for the federal government than the Constitution permits or practical benefit warrants.
What the GOP needs is not so much a house-cleaning as some effective conservative leadership. “Moderate” Republicans might be happier as Democrats, but they’re not likely to leave the party in significant numbers. Meanwhile, conservatives must develop a stronger presence somehow, and figure out how to voice strong opposition to the truly destructive policies of the current administration.
If Republicans can’t strongly criticize the philosophy, policies, and actions of the President and the opposing party in Congress and elsewhere, what good are they serving? Despite the pronouncements of some “experts,” people will respond to clear, principled arguments of conservatism because conservatism reflects the beliefs of most of the American people (especially those outside of Washington, D.C.) to a substantial degree. Some Democrats will listen. Issues are plentiful and votes in great numbers are out there to be earned by politicians whose efforts are guided by principles instead of and polls and focus groups.