A little election advice for Republicans

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 7, 2007

OK, let’s be honest right at the beginning. The last time I voted Republican was for Ronald Reagan, so I am certainly not the best advisor for the Republican Party, nor the most likely to be a swing voter in their camp.

But, let’s face it, these guys need all the help they can get, and advice from outside sources might be better than the advice they have been taking from their friends and associates.

First of all, remember who you once were. You once were the party of small government. Try to recall a time when you did not expand the size of the federal government more than anytime since Lyndon Johnson.

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Your contributions recently to the size of government, including all the politicals you have placed in key positions in every federal agency under the sun, have been absolutely astounding. Remember, you were once for smaller, not larger, government.

Consider this: we need more food and toy and meat inspectors more than we need more border guards and Homeland Security staff.

Remember that you were once the fiscally conservative party. That one may be really hard to recall since during the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II years you have used “Borrow and Spend” to more than double our national debt to more than $9 trillion.

Your last congressional budget, when you were still in the majority, had more dollars in earmarks than any budget in the history of the nation. Consider this advice: Borrowing and spending is actually even worse than taxing and spending since our children will bear the burden of your excesses.

Now this next one is very important. At one time the American people trusted the Republican Party with foreign policy more than they trusted the Democratic Party. But that was before Iraq, a war in which the political management of the war has been incompetent and the congressional oversight nonexistent. Currently about 75 percent of the American people want us out of Iraq and a majority think we never should have gone there.

The fact that our president wants to ignore that public opinion is bad enough, but Republicans seeking re-election arguing “Stay the Course” are, frankly, doomed at the polls. So consider this advice: If you support the Iraqi war going forward, count on losing your seat in congress in 2008.

The next one is somewhat sensitive, but it needs to be said. Up until now your party ran as the party of family values, once going so far, in 2004, as suggesting that Christians could not vote for Democrats.

Now, given the hypocrisy of the scandals that have plagued the party recently, do you see that people no longer find this rhetoric credible? My advice here is pretty simple: judge not, unless you wish to be judged.

A little tolerance here would go a long way. It also wouldn’t hurt if the scandals would stop, but, apparently, that is unlikely for a while.

Finally, according to a recent Wall Street Journal, NBC news poll, voters trust Democrats more on issues like global warming, gas prices, health care, the deficit, energy, education, the economy, immigration, ethics, taxes and more. You can no longer be on the wrong side of the public on all of these issues and expect to win elections.

You cannot vote only for the wealthy, the religious right and the lobbyists for corporate America and have a majority of voters support you at the polls. That time is past.

Hope this helps, and good luck in ’08.

Jim Crawford is a contributing columnist for The Ironton Tribune.