Published May 11, 2009
A new group was recently formed that is calling itself a group of experts for the purpose of making the Republican Party attractive to voters again. The strategy is supposedly to go on a listening tour so they can talk to the American people and hear what people are concerned about.
It's hard to keep from laughing out loud when people living in the bubble of the Beltway suddenly wake up one day and think they ought to have a listening tour; even funnier when their first earful expedition takes them all the way to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
If some of these leaders had been listening already, they wouldn't need to form a group to start listening now. Some of the ones who have decided to start listening sure weren't listening last fall when they were supporting the TARP bailout bill that pretty much discredited any semblance of conservative conviction.
It's also sad when Jeb Bush suggested that we need to "get past Reagan" and the group indicated that it doesn't plan to listen much to the Republicans who became Republicans because they believe in the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and express support for the Second Amendment. Most of us thought the party was pretty strong under Reagan and appreciated that he wasn't ashamed of God and didn't seem embarrassed of his respect for human life at all stages.
In my book, "Do the Right Thing," I dedicate an entire chapter called "Politically Homeless" to the unfortunate attitude between some in the party who treat values voters as if they were embarrassing distant cousins who are allowed to come to the family gatherings a couple of times a year, but aren't expected to be seen beyond that. Values voters are conservative on social issues, and economic ones as well.
For those on the listening tour, listen to this: If the party elite want to abandon principled leadership to protect life, support traditional marriage while going along with deficit exploding spending, interference and micro-managing of private business and failing to police corruption and govern competently, then hearing aids or a panel of experts won't help.
Here's a better idea: Go to a little diner somewhere, but not in an announced listening tour. Just order the cheeseburger and talk to the person who serves your order. Have a conversation with the guy who lifts your bag at the airport or checks you in at the hotel. If you see a guy working on a construction project, wait until his break and ask him a few questions. You'll have plenty to listen to and won't even have to take a tour.
That's my bowl of hot soup for the day, tell me what's in your bowl. E-mail your comments to: email@example.com