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COMMUNITY VOICE

We need a GOP chair who supports the message that we can all succeed

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 12:01 am

The Republican Party has had to do some soul-searching since the November election, and it should. We had the support, but not the votes, and we have to figure out a way to make sure, the next time, that we don’t leave one voter sitting at home on Election Day.

Much has been made of the bruising national primary that may have left our candidate wounded. Primaries are good for vetting ideas and candidates, but after the dust settles, we need to rally around our nominee. We Republicans are passionate about our political beliefs and fervent about supporting the “right” ideas. But if we discard a candidate because he or she does not completely follow our personal litmus test, then we will end up outside the committee room, no voice at the table — because that’s what Democrats do.

What we need to do, as Republicans, is make sure that these voters appreciate that their values are our values. We are all children of immigrants who came here because the economic, political and religious freedoms were lacking in our countries of heritage.

We all want to know that if we work hard, we will be rewarded, not by the government, but from our own endeavors. Whether it is gun control, farm subsidies, defense cuts or immigration, even the most ardent conservative will have different ideas, but we are the party that will allow these voices to have a seat at the table.

Democrats’ and Obama’s idea of working together is complaining when his ideas are not simply rubber-stamped without a whimper. We are tolerant of others, because many came from a place of intolerance, but we Republicans also insist that those of whom we are tolerant in turn respect our beliefs.

The Republican Party, both nationally and locally, needs to make sure that we do not turn people away from the door before they have even had a chance to express their views. If we are the party of states’ rights, limited government, free market capitalism, family values and individual responsibility, then we will win.

We are a nation and a city of many cultures and beliefs, and we Republicans share the belief that success by one of our citizens is success for all. But that success need not come at the expense of others; we don’t need to succeed by “fairly” redistributing someone else’s success.

Recently an op-ed piece by Ric Runstead discussed his choice for Allen County Republican Party chair. I respect his views but disagree with his approach. Why encourage divisiveness? This is a time for our party to invite more people to join us, to send the message that we are the party of promise and the party of American values.

The local party chair is someone who has to raise money, encourage and sometimes even find candidates and manage an organization comprised of many passionate viewpoints. We need a chairman who encourages the party to expand its membership by sending the Republican message that we can all succeed if we work together, not denigrate others. That is why I am supporting Steve Shine.

Liz Brown is a former Fort Wayne City Council member.