I just finished reading a Newsweek book review of Rick Perlstein's "Nixonland" (http://www.newsweek.com/id/136156/page/1) - yet again we have another hit piece on the man from Yorba Linda but more on that in a later post. I only bring up the review because the divisions of the 1960's GOP reminded me of the troubles and tribulations facing the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County GOP units - it was at the 1960 GOP convention where Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona shouted to his supporters "Grow up!"
I think it's once again time for Republicans once again to be reminded of what politics is...a game/profession of compromise. Now I don't mean every position is open to compromise, our leaders must believe in something...they must work from a core set of unwavering values. One of my unwavering values is a commitment to the unborn with few exceptions; I wear the little baby feet on my lapel, I contribute whatever I can to the pro-life organizations, and I hope and pray that one day the judicial abomination of "Roe" is finally overturned...but I am willing to accept incremental, temporary victories in pursuit of my ultimate goal...it's time consuming, it isn't glamorous, but each step moves me closer to victory.
One year ago, the SWAC area had a primary that pitted our state senator against a local businessman who was egged on unfortunately by local unit chairs. The primary boiled down to the issue of taxes - with the senator standing for tax reform and the other side demanding strict adherence to a no new tax ideological line of thought. Our state senator's program called for the increasing of some taxes and the lowering of others, but the bottom line was his proposal taken as a whole would have meant Virginians pay less in taxes.....his opponent presumably would have pushed for straight tax cuts, a proposal that would have meant lower taxes for Virginians...so here we had a choice between two candidates who essentially stood for lowering the tax burden for Virginians, but you would never have known it from the rancor and bitterness of last summer. The incumbent won.
Fast forward a year from and the area party is still not united. Why? Because some still push for ideological purity and that's the bottom line. Some still refuse to see the picture when it comes to the issues, some still refuse to adhere to President Reagan's advise that when someone agrees with you 80% of the time that person is your friend and not your enemy.
And it has annoyed me to no end for a year to see our state senator being insulted by the sight of his primary opponent being paraded around and promoted by people whose calls for party unity I find hard to believe. People that I have admired and respected for a very long time, people who have had nothing but kind words for me whenever I see them, people who it pains me to disagree with...because I know they want to build the party up but they're doing it the wrong way.
So I say a year of division is enough, a year of pointless squabbling and back and forth bickering is enough. Where has it gotten us? As I've stated on here before our area is being laughed at because of inability to get along. And I just keep going back to what Senator Goldwater said in Chicago during the 1960 Republican convention, "Let's Grow Up...!"