Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Restoring the Republican brand
Amid the shambles of defeat, Republicans tear their hair, rack their brains and stab one another in the back. They fight over the soul of their party – fight to shape its future as a brand. Some cry out for Reaganism and an agenda of small government, low taxes and big militaries. Others call for realistic reform – a modernized conservatism of investment in education and new technologies and a more flexible foreign policy.
Brandsinger counsels Republicans to renew their original nobility and moral power: Look to Lincoln, I say. Look to your party’s founder and leader who guided America through the tempests of the 1850s and ‘60s. Look to Lincoln’s policies and principles, to the qualities he embodied as leader and man.
Honesty – Extending Lincoln’s reputation for principled behavior, Republicans should proclaim zero tolerance for cronyism, corruption and double-speak.
Justice – How did the Great Emancipator’s party lose 90 percent of the African-American vote? Republicans must renounce religious and racial intolerance and cast themselves as fighters for the poor, the immigrant, the stigmatized and the minority – for equal rights before the law.
Opportunity – As champion of white homesteaders and of industrious young people like himself, Lincoln should inspire Republicans to invest in schools and to create incentives to extend economic opportunity to young people, struggling families, outcasts and immigrants.
Humanity – By Lincoln’s humor, compassion and visceral hatred of slavery, Republicans can be shamed into softening their Manichean righteousness and into opening their party to all. Honoring the newly defeated South, Lincoln told the band: “Play Dixie.” Toward anyone different from themselves, next year’s Republicans should say, “You’re okay too.”
Strength – Under Lincoln the nation was re-united by force of arms and energized to become the world’s industrial powerhouse. In Lincoln's name, Republicans can continue to support military and economic strength – as well as the nation's cultural vigor and intellectual power.
Republicans: Barrack Obama is not merely an amiable new presence whose candidacy benefited from the economic bust. Obama is a threat to your party’s very identity. He has emerged from Illinois reading books on Lincoln, quoting Lincoln and inviting comparisons with Lincoln – TO STEAL YOUR HERITAGE. Republicans, you will have NO future unless you renounce Reaganism and the religious right and look to Lincoln for the inspiration to regain your heritage and to redeem your future.