NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 8, 2014

Avoiding the wedge issues in GOP platform

“Apart from that, Mr. Lincoln, how do you like the Republican platform?”

In late February, the Republican State Committee passed a platform that included the following language: “We believe that every abortion is tragic,” and “We believe that the institution of traditional marriage strengthens the family.” This has been, and will be throughout the 2014 campaign, translated by Democrat opponents into “We oppose women’s rights and gay equality” and used against all Republican candidates, even those who are pro-choice and support gay marriage.

In fact, these issues were used against Republican candidates in 2010, when there was no such language in the Republican platform. Sixth District congressional challenger Richard Tisei, who has been pro-choice throughout his political career, was attacked with fliers accusing him of “calling for a ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.”

He was accused of supporting “the Tea Party agenda.” I’m a Tea Party activist and support its agenda, which is fiscal responsibility, not social issues. Still, Democrats said it’s opposed to gay rights, then implied that Tisei, who has since married his same-sex partner, shares that position.

So, regardless of what the state Republican Party or the Tea Party actually support or doesn’t support, the state Democrat Party will lie if necessary to use these two hot-button issues to turn off women and young voters. Please be prepared for that, and tune it out. Women don’t need to fear that abortion will ever be banned, and gay marriage is becoming more acceptable every year.

Just to be absolutely clear, Tisei, who is running again for Congress, said in a statement that “The Republican Party should lead the way in getting government off our backs, out of our wallets, and away from our bedrooms, and the party hierarchy would be wise to adopt platforms that promote these values, which are shared by an overwhelming number of citizens in Massachusetts.”

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