Opinion

GOP moderates must fight to save the party

The recent trouble Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) has had securing his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, primarily because of his pro-abortion rights stance, has dashed most of my hopes that the moderates in an all-Republican Congress would have a strong influence, indeed a very troubling reality. Now, let there be no question, according to the principles of the GOP (a fiscally responsible party that advocates a smaller and more efficient federal government, which is hands off peoples’ personal lives), I am a Republican. Nevertheless, I am disturbed about the prospects of the ultra-right wing of the GOP taking over government and zeroing out the centrists. These ultra-conservatives not only pose the threat of pushing their paternalistic agenda on freedom loving Americans, but they are hypocrites within their own ranks not following the aforementioned principles.

What’s worse is that every four years for about four days, the GOP, and let’s not leave the Democrats out of this one, spotlight the moderates in the party to America and showcase them as the true representatives of their party. On the fifth day, those moderates who let themselves be dangled around are again reviled and shunned to the lowest depths of the party, unless of course there is a campaign rally in their hometown. This behavior is disgusting, but it drives me crazy to think that Republicans have reached out for the most conservative base they can find. Politically, it is a wise tactic that has proven itself, but has put hypocrites in power, and made twisted being a Republican to mean association with the Christian and far right, groups which I do not associate myself with.

Like I said before, there is hope, as there always must be to stay sane. There is a chance for the party to (this is not a pun) right itself. There are centrists such as the great Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that say what they believe and do not worry about what the Club for Growth or the Christian Coalition thinks. These mavericks in the party must now exert whatever influence they have left, which may be little now that the election is over. If they continue to be ignored, then let party loyalty be damned and let the leadership know of the discontent by either switching parties or, in the ideal world, make a new truly center-right party.

Pierre Gaunaurd can be contacted at p.gaunaurd@umiami.edu.

November 19, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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