The Republican Party has traditionally been a party of smaller government and lower taxes. Unfortunately, the GOP has loosened their ties with the small government ideals over the last few years - it hurt us in 2006 and it threatens to hurt us yet again in 2008.
Truly the 2006 vote was a referendum on Bush's policy towards Iraq - which resulted in the immediate release of Rumsfeld. However, shortfalls in 2008 are not going to be directly related to Iraq... it is going to be a referendum on the perception of Republicanism... perception that may be right.
The GOP Primary field included some great, and some not so great Republicans... offering Social conservatives, Economic Conservatives, Social and Economic moderates, and arguably Social and Economic liberals. When the dust settled, the GOP had picked the nominee - Self proclaimed economically ignorant, and arguably a Social Democrat. John McCain is the fall-out from the fight for the "True Conservative". The result is a GOP candidate who, for the first time, does not represent his base as much as he represents the undecided middle-of-the-road voters. This may not be a bad thing on election day, but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the libertarian - the true constitutionalists...
I would consider myself a libertarian within the ranks of the GOP. I firmly support the original intent of the founding documents, and believe that the United States has grossly strayed from her founding. I also believe that the Republican Party has to reconcile with it's libertarian base.
The United States was founded on a basis of personal freedom within the rule of law... but what happens when the law makers get "law-happy", voting in ridiculous laws bent on demanding conformity to social behaviors. What happens when the laws cease to represent personal freedom, and fail to promote individual responsibility?
You have a society heavily influenced by socialist norms. As such, liberty ceases to exist.
This is the very reason that John McCain needs to choose his VP wisely. He needs a "good faith" selection indicating a firm understanding of the core principles of the founding of this nation. Hopefully we see the fruits of his wisdom sooner rather than later.
But what about down ticket? What about activism? What about us at the grass-roots? Can the party survive as a defender of capitalism and liberty if we are losing the libertarians in the party?
The answer is a resounding NO... and we had better understand this before November 4th!
Who do I mean when I say "we", though?
I am talking to the libertarians directly. If we leave the party, if we choose to try and change the game instead of fighting harder for change within the party, then we lose... we all lose.
If you are tired of the leftward moving of the GOP... if you are frustrated with the politicking for party purposes rather than country's purposes, fight harder for a course correction within the GOP. Support GOP candidates with a firm understanding of the core principles... libertarian minded Republicans who understand true liberty.
Splitting the party does nothing more than deliver power to the other extreme - further making the "norm" a socialist-minded politician... if your hope is that the pendulum will swing back the other way, I ask you the question - what happens if the pendulum swings too far left and they grab it, keeping it from swinging?
We are not asking for a sacrifice of principle in favor of politics... rather, a reunion of the party in an attempt to right the ship, and move the country back into the right direction (pun intended).
From within the party, we have the power to select candidates in caucus and primary elections that more accurately represent the small government, low taxes ideology that the Republican Party truly represents. From within, we have the power to select candidates that can win, and can influence the course of our Republic. From within, our voice is more than a cry of "foul" from outside the gates... it is a voice of reason on the playing field.