, Newburyport, MA


March 8, 2014

Avoiding the wedge issues in GOP platform


Yes, it should. And actually, the 2010 Massachusetts Republican platform is a beautiful exposition of real conservative principles, beginning with its preamble: “The Massachusetts Republican Party believes in the power of the individual over the power of government and that government must at all times be held accountable to the people. We believe that Massachusetts — the cradle of the American Republic — can once again be a national leader in prosperity and opportunity for all families and individuals.” Most of this year’s platform will repeat this agenda.

As a taxpayer activist, I also note the language relating to taxes, which says that “a two-thirds vote of the Legislature should be required in order to raise taxes” and, relative to last year’s gas tax increase, states that “we oppose the indexing of any tax to the rate of inflation.” Most if not all Republican candidates will be supporting the question that will be on the ballot with them, to repeal the new provision for automatic annual gas tax increases.

When I was 12, I read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and told my Democrat parents, in my Pennsylvania Democrat hometown, that I was going to be a Republican when I grew up because President Lincoln freed the slaves. Later I felt more at home as an independent, but certainly voted, along with the majority of Massachusetts, for Ronald Reagan with his platform of fiscal and personal responsibility, and his optimistic certainty that America is the last best hope of humanity.

That message is more important this year than ever. With so many things going wrong in the state, federal and international arenas, America is no longer so clearly the best hope of humanity but potentially an example of how the mighty fall. Republicans must get focused on what matters, and what they can do to effect reform and other positive change. I know many conservatives who are opposed to abortion and gay marriage, yet have no interest in bringing them into the political arena.

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