In a speech last week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson described the biggest problem facing the Republican Party today: pushing away voters because of staunch socially-conservative litmus tests for candidates.
The GOP would be smart to focus more on its economic roots than be embroiled in inflexible social issues debates in order to gain success in 2012.
A current GOP presidential candidate, Johnson spoke about why he is a Republican, attributing it to the conservative view of good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
"The Republican Party is about efficient management of the government pocket book," Johnson said. "We are the party that can restore economic prosperity to this country. However, if continue to get sidetracked by the social conservative fringe of the party — we will never get that chance."
Gary Johnson nails it on the head. Republicans scare away voters who would otherwise be attracted to a small-government, low-tax message if it didn't come with absurd intrusions into the private lives of citizens.
Philosophical consistency could go a long way for a party that grounds itself on the principles of free markets, private property, and individual rights. Personal privacy and individual sovereignty should be the foundation for proponents of small government. True freedom means not only the right to purchase and sell goods, as well as employ yourself, freely, but also the right of the individual to be the sole decider on matters of body, mind, and lifestyle.
The Grand Old Party would do well to embrace a platform consistent with freedom in order to win in 2012 and bring fiscal sanity to the country.
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