Rove should instead take a lesson from our own GOP county chairman, Steve Shine. Instead of undermining or ostracizing conservative candidates, Shine has supported and worked with those candidates who have been duly elected by the Republican base in the primary. As a result, the Allen County GOP continues to elect good, strong candidates, perennially dominating many races at all levels of government. In the last two election cycles alone Republicans saw significant gains, picking off Democratic heavyweights like Moses and Goldner and replacing them with grass-roots conservatives. Under Shine’s steady hand at the helm, the Allen County Republican Party has sailed safely through some turbulent times only to emerge even stronger and more united. As chairman, Shine not only respectfully listens to tea partyers and libertarian thinkers, who are passionately dedicated to preserving our freedoms guaranteed in the U. S. Constitution, but he has invited them to get involved in local politics by joining the Allen County GOP.
While that makes his job of holding differing factions of the party together a bit more difficult, and at times messier, Shine recognizes that it is precisely this diversity of ideas and opinions that keeps the ACGOP strong and relevant. Rove should look at the ACGOP’s winning record and dominance in area politics to learn that a winning strategy necessarily includes grass-roots conservatives and not try to limit the field to bland candidates like Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Rove and his big donors should embrace the diversity and vitality that a Marco Rubio or Rand Paul brings to the Republican Party if they want to see real gains in the upcoming 2014 general elections. If Rove doesn’t begin to recognize the value of unity and building up the party, he will sink the Republican Party with bitter factionalism and see the same dismal results — unable to recapture the Senate or the White House.