By Paul Hsieh
In the wake of their massive 2008 electoral defeat, the Republican Party is going through a process of self-examination.
Some Republicans, such as former House Majority leader Dick Armey (now chairman of FreedomWorks) are arguing that the Republicans should turn away from the agenda of the Religious Right, and instead stand for small government and fiscal responsibility.
Mr. Armey states his case in this November 7, 2008 OpEd in the Wall Street Journal, "'Compassionate' Conservatism Was a Mistake".
Other Republicans, such as former Congressman J.C. Watts (at one time the number 4 ranking Republican in the House), argue that the Republican Party needs to cater more to the Religious Right.
Mr. Watts states his case in this November 9, 2008 OpEd in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Winning football and winning politics".
I believe that Dick Armey is on the right track and J.C. Watts is on the wrong track. Hence, I was pleased when the November 11, 2008 Las Vegas Review-Journal printed my LTE on this topic (fourth one down the page):
J.C. Watts is prescribing the exact wrong formula for the Republican Party's problems (Review-Journal, Nov. 9).
I'm an independent voter who supports strong national defense, fiscal responsibility and individual rights (including Second Amendment rights). But I did not vote Republican in 2008 precisely because of their alliance with the Religious Right.
Americans still want small government. In my home "swing" state of Colorado, voters rejected three tax increases to provide more social programs "for the children." But they also resoundingly rejected the anti-abortion Amendment 48 (which would declare a fertilized egg a legal "person") and defeated pro-life conservative Republicans Marilyn Musgrave and Bob Schaffer.
If Republicans reaffirmed the principles of limited government and separation of church and state, then I'd be happy to support them again. But if they stay in bed with the Religious Right, they will continue to alienate many independent voters and lose elections. And deservedly so.