The GOP as Democrat lite
After Mitt Romney's defeat and the loss of seats in the Senate, many Republicans have asked themselves, "Why have we lost two elections in a row?" In fact, in the past four presidential elections, Republicans have won a majority of the popular vote just once.
Republican after Republican is calling for the party to go back on its promise not to raise taxes. They forget how that strategy worked for President George H.W. Bush.
Instead of attempting to rebrand themselves as a lite version of the Democratic Party, Republicans must again stand for the principles on which Republicans were elected. The problem is not the message; it is that Republicans undermine that message, just as a radio, if not set exactly on the right station, produces static. The party's message is too often being drowned out by static.
For example, Republicans proclaim that they are the party intent on preserving the Constitution. Yet by their defense of the Patriot Act and the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the president to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, many Republicans seem to have forgotten that the Fourth Amendment is a vital part of the Constitution.
Republicans have been quick to complain that the religious liberties of Christians are under attack, yet forget that the First Amendment applies to all religions, including Islam.
Romney correctly pointed out that many citizens rely heavily upon the federal government for their very existence. Yet Republicans have supported TARP and other government bailout programs for wealthy Americans.
The party has also been too willing to give billions of dollars in foreign aid, often to countries that do not have our best interests at heart.
The Republican Party is the pro-life party, so why do too many turn a blind eye to the torture and killing of some individuals. And why do they often forget that when they held the White House they did not hold the line on spending.
Also producing static are the constant attacks on President Obama's religion and nationality. A majority of Americans have accepted that President Obama is native-born, as the Constitution requires.
By constantly fixing on these non-issues, Republicans appear to be tearing down the president for no valid reason. This clouds other criticisms of the president that have merit.
Republicans on the national and state levels must remember why they were elected. They were not elected to raise taxes, but to limit government, and to not only talk about family values, but to live family values, portraying their message in a positive light.
If party leaders decide that the best course is to become Democratic Party lite, they will find that Americans, instead of voting for an artificial version of the Democratic Party, will just decide to vote for the real thing.
Don Guymon is a member of the Utah Republican State Central Committee and chairman of GrassRoots (utahgrassroots.org). He lives in West Bountiful.