What does it mean to be a Republican? People have mentioned that the Republican party has a big tent, as if that were a badge of honor. The underlying idea conveyed is that being accepting, or inclusive (or tolerant) of many individuals and their differing ideologies is a good thing. The misconception is that growing the Republican party by broadening ideology and accepting diverse convictions then the tent will become big and relevant. I realize the motivation for growing and encourage all to join the practical, commonsense platform of the Republican party. However, the party cannot remain relevant if we lose our identity.
If we have sitting in the “Big GOP Tent” a Republican that stands for a small efficient government and then enters another Republican who’s ideology prods the GOP towards a progressive agenda of raising taxes before looking at cutting government, confusion occurs. If the GOP takes in both, and allows each to be called Republicans, it will naturally leave the bystander wondering, what is a Republican? Are they for smaller government or are they for a tax and spend policy? When we don’t take a unified stand for a specific position, each time we leave the observer confused as to who we are. Each time we accept two differing ideologies and call them both Republican, you weaken the identity of the GOP. So really when you ask the question how many different and diverse people can we get under the big GOP tent, you are really asking how much can we water down the Republican stance and thus how weak can we make the Republican brand. Each time we accept differing individual views, that look strangely similar to the left, we erode the GOP party platform. As the erosion of the GOP platform continues, we lose our identity. If we lose our identity we become irrelevant. At that point people will actually be leaving the “big tent”.
It is the army that moves together, united in form and ideology, that can conquer the opposition.
Rep. Matt Regier HD#4