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Time for GOP to Frame Issues

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Now that the healthcare insurance bill has been shoved down the proverbial throats (and wallets) of the American people, it is more important than ever to understand that the inability and unwillingness of the Republican Party to proactively frame discussions is having negative consequences to the future of our society.

Our inability to get out in front and frame discussions has put the GOP in the position of always having to be on the defensive and be the party of “no”.  Let’s examine some of these issues:

Race: The fact is, the Republican Party is the party responsible for the abolition of slavery in America. The GOP is the party responsible for passing the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, giving Blacks freedom, citizenship and the right to vote. Fact is the NAACP was founded by White Republicans.  Republicans were responsible for passing Civil Rights Act in 1957 and in the 1960’s.

The Democrat Party fought to keep Blacks enslaved. It was the Democrat Party that passed the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws.  JFK, a Democrat, voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act and then opposed the 1963 march on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who himself was a conservative Republican). From 1870 – 1930 it was the Democrat Party that used fraud, whippings, lynching, murder, intimidation, and mutilation to get the Black vote.

When we learn about the history of our party, we start becoming the party of “know” and not the party of “no”.

Life: We, for too long, have allowed the left to frame this issue as “pro-life vs, pro-choice”. It is time we reframe this issue so that we can come together and create solutions. It’s not pro-life vs. pro-choice. It is anti-abortion vs. pro-abortion. If you are anti-abortion you believe that abortion is a horrible, terrible act and you never want a woman to feel like that is ever a choice to be made. If you are pro-abortion, that means you believe abortion is a good thing. What percentage of the population do you really think believes abortion is good?

Let’s say 5 percent of people think abortion is actually a good thing; you mean to tell me that 95 percent of the American people believe abortion is bad, yet we can’t come together and create solutions that result in women never feeling like that is the only alternative for them to pursue?

Instead of framing the debate correctly, we protest and fight and are looked upon as the party of “no” – no ideas and no solutions.  We are better than that and it is time we start to act accordingly.

The Environment and Amnesty: Another example of how those of us on the right hurt our own cause is in our inability to connect the dots and show how those on the left speak out of both sides of their mouths. Take the environment and amnesty. It is simply not possible for anyone to say they are pro-environment and pro-amnesty (or favor a “path to citizenship”) for people who are in our country illegally.

Specifically, we must understand that without the 50 million or so people who have come to America illegally over the last 30 years, our population would be about 250 million people. Many of these people have been granted amnesty in the past, and it looks like many more are about to be granted amnesty by President Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress.

Take away 50 million people from America and one has to wonder: how many Americans would actually be without health insurance; what would the unemployment rate be; how many fewer people would be taking from the government and what effect would that have on tax rates; how many fewer people would be burdening our schools and hospitals and local government services?

Remove these 50 million people from our population and we have 50 million fewer people drinking our water, filling their vehicles with gas, burning oil, forcing farms and farmers to take steps to squeeze more produce from each acre, which more quickly removes valuable nutrients from the land. These are all things that increase the carbon footprint of America.

On the right, we simply don’t make rational and plain arguments like that against the policies and people who support them that we oppose. Instead, we say “no” and fight against the push for environmental legislation. Legislation, I might add, would not be on the table if we stopped being the party of “no” and started being the party of “know”.

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Republicans, conservatives, Libertarians, Independents – we all value the environment and are committed to being good stewards of our planet. Why is it then, that we can’t, or don’t, show our fellow citizens that we do say “yes” and we do “know” what we are talking about? Why do we allow the other side to paint us as the people who protest and fight against everything, while bringing no alternate solutions to the table? And why do we perpetuate the perception that we are the party of “no” instead of being true to our beliefs as the party of “know”?

We need to stop playing politics and start focusing on solutions, based on our desire to live in a country where people can afford health care insurance (and have the freedom to choose to buy it or not), drink clean water and breathe clean air, and afford to send our kids to college. Our desire and our history show that Republicans have always valued and fought hard for equality and opportunity for ALL of our people, yet we allow the Democrat party to take credit for the good we have done while they implement programs and laws that do exactly the opposite of what they claim to achieve.

It is long past time for the GOP and for those of us on the right, to stand up and set the record straight in these and other areas. But we need leaders and candidates who can articulate these values and beliefs in ways that pull Libertarians, Moderates, Independents and fiscally-conservative Democrats back to the party to which they all know they truly belong. We don’t need to move our party left. We simply need to understand what we “know” and we will become the party to which the American people say, “Yes!”

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