Monday, September 17, 2007

Final Notice

Those were the words in big, red letters on the front of the envelope I received a few days ago. My membership of nearly 20 years in the Republican National Committee will lapse if I don't I send in my $25 soon. I must admit I am on the fence. This has next to nothing to do with the president, and next to everything to do with the party. Here's a sample...

Saturday, I received a "survey" from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, telling me I am part of the 1% of the party membership given the privilege of providing "critical" answers to unite the party behind a "new conservative Republican Agenda." First, I am not a political conservative. Second, I am fed up with some of the questions they put in these things that render them largely meaningless.

  • Should we continue to demand that North Korea and Iran dismantle their nuclear missile programs?
  • Should we fight Democrats when they force wage and price controls ontor our free market economy?
  • Should we stop the Democrat majority from approving only activist judges?
  • In general, do you support Second Amendment Rights under the Constitution that allow law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms?
  • Do you agree that if we fail to unite our Grand Old Party, we will hand liberal Democrats the keys to the White House and Majority Status in the Senate for a generation?

You want "critical" feedback? Why don't you try conducting a serious survey with serious, well-constructed questions? But that's not really the point. This "survey," of course, is but another transparent fundraising ploy.

One of the things I teach the basketball teams I coach is that I manage the team assuming their priorities are as follows:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. School
  4. Basketball

This list is a guide for how I think about party matters, as well. I have common cause with the GOP on many issues and share many goals. We rightfully got our clocks cleaned in the last election, but I haven't seen many (if any) meaningful, consistent improvements in attitude, much less action. For example, there has been nary a peep from Republicans, although exceptions like Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint do exist, on the recent making of earmarks less, not more, transparent. And now I am looking at a presidential field where 1.) the only candidates whom I consider to have clear positions that are consistent with mine on foundational issues have essentially zero support for the nomination (Fred Thompson could still prove an exception here, although I consider his lack of executive experience to be significant), and 2.) the party's leading national candidate, Rudy Guliani, has several fundamental positions out of step with mine and a counter-vailing track record on others for which he is unrepentant. Should he become the nominee, I simply do not consider him trustworthy to advance other parts of his agenda such that they overlap enough with mine (constructionist judges and the like). His nomination could very well be the final straw because I find the lesser of two evils argument less than compelling. After all, with all due respect to my rationalizing fellow-travelers, when my path diverges from the party, then I must expect trials and, I hope, rewards different from the party's.

For now, I remain a reluctant Republican, but the RNC should know that I am not the only one on final notice.

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