The Republicans lost big. I’m a Republican — and yet I’m not devastated. For the first time, the loss doesn’t feel personal. Why?
Because from President Bush on down, no one in the party seems to touch us the way some Republicans previously did. Many haven’t gone out on a limb, in our behalf, to champion our causes. Many didn’t respond to our offers of help.
Many of us who take the issues seriously were sickened every time Beltway Republicans and RNC leaders referred to those Democrats — who mock us, and our country, and care more about terrorist "rights" than the safety of our families — as "our friends" across the aisle.
It’s hard to feel personal about elected officials who seem incapable of enunciating what I believe and what I stand for. If they understood what we hold dear and why — who we are — they would be able to express it themselves. Unless, of course, they really don’t feel it. They don’t seem to be one of us.
Fire begets fire. But this crop of Republicans seems unwilling daily to fight hard and say what has to be said. No passion. They leave us cold. What they do possess is loads of timidity and a pre-occupation with appearing "reasonable" — Washington-like. It’s our party but not “our guys."
Never in my lifetime has the party been so bereft of individuals to whom one can feel a personal bond, an affection, a long-distance connection. Never before has the party been so comprised of colorless, political robots. The party has no personality. It has become a shell without a core, a hodge-podge without a germinating seed.
It has become a party of slogans, such as "stay the course" and No Child Left Behind instead of one with guts and patriotic heart. It is too globalist and Madison Avenue and not enough Main Street. They took our loyalty and belief in them for granted, giving themselves permission to prolong, much too long, Iraqi nation- building with American lives and dollars. Assured of our patience, they chose easy-way-out political-correctness.They didn’t respect us — until election eve.
They seemed so unrecognizable — these pre 1980-like Republicans, as often does their President whose every other sentence starts with "compassion" as well as references that are alien to this life-long conservative. I often cringe.
It’s a group who won’t stand up for their own. The minute the media make a charge against a Republican colleague or supporter, they’ve shown they’d rather appease the media than stand by a brother. This is not an endearing quality. Nor is it manly. All along we’ve wondered: Would they stand up for us?
While we often find the party an ideological home in which to hang a hat, it seems to have lost the ability to touch us emotionally. Reagan did, as did “Bobbie” for the Democrats. Only that can explain why millions of die-hard conservatives are this afternoon, upon the heels of this week’s defeat, able to make reservations tonight for a dinner. We feel anxious about the country’s possible new direction, but we aren’t in mourning for friends. Too bad, unlike in the past, the loss doesn’t seem personal.
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