Open Letter to the GOP

I recently received a direct mail notice from Ken Mehlman, Chairman of the Republican National Committee saying that, “Our records show we have not yet received your 2006 Republican National Committee membership contribution.”

One assumes a lot of these notices have been mailed to folks like myself who have decided not to financially support the GOP this year. They won’t miss my donation because it’s always small.

It’s not that I won’t vote the Republican ticket in November. I probably will, but that’s because the Democrats in my State have made such a botch of its affairs I can’t imagine encouraging that with my vote. But I will not send the RNC any money. I will not renew my membership. Not now at least.

According to the notice, my membership and contribution “is urgently needed to support President Bush and give Republican candidates the resources they need to run effective campaigns and win.” But in most respects I don’t support President Bush any more because, for one thing, he has never vetoed a single spending bill conjured up by the Republican controlled Congress.

We have a huge national debt and, frankly, that kind of thing worries me, particularly when Ken Mehlman tells me that, “Our message of lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, and commonsense reform wins elections.” What fiscal responsibility? And what reforms?

The alleged reform of the educational system via the “No Child Left Behind” legislation is the creation of the most liberal legislator in Congress, Sen. Teddy Kennedy, and extended a previous piece of legislation imposing a federally controlled system from coast to coast. This is a terrible idea that does little other than to expand the size and reach of the federal government. NCLB has done nothing to improve the quality of education in America. It has degraded “education” into an endless series of tests around a rigid curriculum.

Why, having been in control of Congress since 1995, has the Republican Party been unable to muster enough majority votes to open ANWR to the extraction of oil? Why can’t the Republicans end the ban on offshore exploration for the massive quantities of oil and natural gas that we need to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern and other energy resource producers? The recent House vote to end the ban is likely to be resisted and defeated in the Senate.

Why is the Environmental Protection Agency permitted to create and enforce an endless variety of restrictions and mandates that, among other things, increases the cost of gasoline to Americans and afflicts the farmers and ranchers who provide our food? This nation and the world have suffered greatly from the ban on DDT and on methyl bromide, an essential pesticide used in U.S. agriculture.

Why did the President nominate an avowed environmentalist, Henry Paulson, as the new Secretary of the Treasury? What was he thinking when he nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court?

Why hasn’t the GOP been more zealous to rid the U.S.A. Patriot Act of some of its more noxious elements that intrude on the privacy of Americans and run contrary to the safeguards of Constitution?

Why has the Bush administration, under the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, attempted to federalize the possession of a handgun by a felon? Surely there are enough state laws to address this.

Why, in fact, have the Bush administration and the GOP pursued programs that would expand federal police powers beyond that which the Constitution would permit? I take very seriously the Tenth Amendment which says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”

Individual rights and privacy seem to be the last and least concern of the Republican Party these days. The expansion and intrusive powers of the federal government seem to be its first priority. Birth, end of life, and gender issues are personal issues. Both Republicans and Democrats need to respect that and leave such matters to the States as the Tenth Amendment requires.

Why has the President consistently refused to address the problem of the massive flow of illegal aliens from across our southern border and, at the same time, advocated what everyone knows is an amnesty proposal few Americans want?

And, of course, there is the issue of Iraq. An estimated trillion or more dollars has been allocated to free the Iraqi people and establish a functioning, modern government there. I have supported that effort, but my patience has its limits. There are some small signs of change in the Middle East, but the dead hand of Islam may yet succeed in defeating the hope of connecting it to the rest of the world and the twenty-first century.

These are a few examples of the failure of the Republican Party to fulfill the expectations of myself and others who have supported it in the past. It bares less and less resemblance to anything that once passed for Republican values and none to its famed Contract with America.

“If you have delayed your membership because you feel the RNC has let you down — let me know. I need to hear from you.”

Well, respectfully, Mr. Mehlman, you are hearing from me and, apparently, a lot of other former and reluctant contributors. What you hear in November may be even worse news.