Greetings from Provincetown, Mass!
I’m here on a multi-day vacation and participating in my first gay wedding! So exciting!
While on Cape Cod, I’m taking in my traditional dose of New England media – it’s refreshing being here for many reasons, because people here are different than in the West, in their views and ways they look at community, family and government.
Being from the West, I obviously have political leanings based in libertarianism, a strong individual ethic concerning personal freedoms and individual responsibility and local control. As I sit and chat with my fellow guest-housemates, both straight and gay, and almost all totally Democrats voting for Obama in November, I find that in a lot of ways, they believe the same. New England is the birthplace of revolution and individual liberty in America.
So this morning when I was reading the New York Times’ opinion piece by Jean Edward Smith titled “We Should Still Like Ike”, I immediately started thinking about the path of the Republican Party over the last 40 years. While I consider myself an Eisenhower Republican (socially moderate, economically conservative), that demographic has very much been subjugated to a secondary position within the Republican party for many election cycles now. Smith asserts that it is time for the Republican Party to discover its roots and return to a sense of conservatism that is less offensive than then traditional Bush/Rove style of (you’re either with us or against us on: (insert issues of, the War, gay marriage, tax cuts, energy independence, environmental issues).
I’m thinking of this demographic…Eisenhower Republicans…and wondering, especially after meeting and talking to my new friends on the Cape – is this demographic going to actually vote Republican in this election? Are they going to support the Party’s nominee and the down-ticket races? I’m not quite sure. We’ve heard about the phenomenon of the “Obamacans” – Republicans supporting Barack Obama. Even today, Robert Novak used his column today to opine on the decision of the influential and very socially/economically conservative donor club called “The Lincoln Club” in Orange County, CA, publicly taking to task Republicans originally elected to rein in government spending then doing the complete opposite, and threatening to withhold all campaign contributions until there is a complete house-cleaning of the Congressional leadership that has allowed this to occur.
If the Party doesn’t get its act together here shortly, it risks loosing two extremely important bases: financially supportive donors who are of the Eisenhower strain, and hard-core conservatives who are beyond tired of supporting a Party that is contributing to the problem of wasteful spending and government largesse, and pushing more and more people out of the Republican Party leading to a permanent minority.
I’m back in LA on Wednesday…hope everybody had a great 4th of July weekend!