I attended a GOP Township meeting last night. There were all sorts of elected officials there, and the meeting went about normal business. Our keynote speaker was the chairman of the county GOP. To say that his speech left me puzzled is something of an understatement.
He hammered on how well things went in the county, which is a strong GOP bastion. Of course, patting ourselves on the back for holding our county is a hollow victory when one reflects on the failures of the party statewide. The time for patting ourselves on the back... well it didn't seem like that's appropriate given the overall outcome.
He highlighted some competitive races and how the party learned some valuable lessons:
One of which was that "we" (quotes used to denote that I'm not necessarily thrilled about being part of the we) are losing the middle-class suburban woman to the Demos on the stem-cell issue. I was a little surprised by this comment, which in spirit was a challenge that we need to re-think the issue. His example was that the successful Roskam used a cancer survivor who was treated with adult stem cells in their treatment, to counter Michael J. Fox stumping for Demo Tammy Duckworth.
I not only strenuously object to the Demos politicizing disease as a means to forward an agenda, but recoil in horror that instead of countering such shamelessness with outrage, reason, facts and objectivity, that we instead trot out our own victim. If indeed we're losing voters to the Demos on the stem-cell issue, the voters are wrong. Absolutely, and without qualification, dead wrong. Our duty, then, is to explain how the Demos are wrong on the issue and how we're right on the issue.
Secondly, and as big a surprise to me, was the chairman's comments that 80% of the Latino vote went Demo in the election which is something we should be "very concerned about" - and the spirit of his comments again was courting these voters, with respect to immigration reform. I was, once again, speechless. Understanding demographic changes, I acknowledge, is what political candidates, operatives and consultants need to do. I cannot find a single reason, upon near-constant reflection since last night, to violate these principles to sway voters. Either we stand for something or we stand for nothing. We should vehemently explain, clarify, and argue for our positions. But compromise them? Deliberately lie, or worse, do the wrong thing, just to stay in power?
I concluded at the night's end, that there remains an enormous amount of work to be done to further the principles of federalism and return the Republic to the proper balance as the framers intended. I take some comfort that elected officials are merely a reflection of their constituents, and when the electorate changes, so shall the elected.