Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Moderate RepublIcan Manifesto, Part One

There's been a lot of talk in the Centrist blogoshphere these days about what is Centrism. It's all good. But part of me wants to get more specific. What is Republican Centrism like? Some Dems see moderate Republicans as cowards, and the far right doesn't even consider us real Republicans. There has been a lot of talk about moderate Republicans, but what is we should stand for?

Well, I have a few suggestions off the top of my head:

Centrist Republicans believe in Fiscal Responsibility. This should be a no-brainer for Republicans. But, we have seen how the current President and the current Congress continues to borrow and spend. Instead pursuing a sound fiscal policy, the party has supported a tax cut 24/7. We continue to borrow at a time of war.

Centrist Republicans believe in fiscal disciplne. We believe that while tax cuts are nice and can spur growth, they should not be done at the expense of future generations of Americans and not at a time when we have men and women fighting and dying abroad. Centrist Republicans would find ways to control spending and pursue a fiscal policy that won't leave future Americans with the bill.

Centrist Republicans believe in a strong economy and a strong environment. The two are not mutually exclusive. The GOP used to be at the vanguard of environmental protection. Teddy Roosevelt started the GOP's green agenda and it was picked up by people like Richard Nixon, who started the Environmental Protection Agency and also signed several landmark laws like the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts.

But all of that seems like a century ago compared to the more recent record of the GOP. Republicans seem less green, tending to believe that breathable air and potable water are liberal issues.

Centrist Republicans believe free markets can make free citizens. But free citizens also need air to breathe and water that is safe fromn pollutants. Centrist Republicans will find ways to protect the environment that will not sacrifice jobs. Instead of focusing on punishing business, Centrist Republicans will use more "carrots" or incentives and only use the "stick" as a last resort.

Centrist Republicans believe in diversity and equality. America is a diverse, nation. We are filled with people from different ethinicites and religions. Centrist Republicans honor this diversity and want to allow people to express their unique individuality without interference from the state. Centrist Republicans allow gays and lesbians to live freely and to have the same rights as all Americans. Centrist Republicans respect faith and believe that all persons of faith, regardless if they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew, should be free to worship and they believe that government must not favor any particular faith, but allow for all people of faith to follow their consciences.

That's all for now. More later...


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