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Fiscal conservatism & progressive social stances would be attractive

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

In his letter to this forum recently, Mr. Moran would have us believe that "America is losing its way in a leadership vacuum, and a leader has emerged." The potential leader he refers to is Ted Cruz. Cruz has surpassed Sarah Palin and others as the champion of the tea party right. If Cruz, as suggested by Moran, "has donned the mantle of leadership", the Republican Party is in dire straits.

Cruz, on his narcissistic joy ride, ignited the defund Obamacare fight which led to the shutdown of the government at the cost of 24 billion (which could eventually reach $55 billion) and the cut of 0.6 percent off of yearly fourth quarter GDP growth. This was all precipitated by the House voting 40 times to repeal ACA, knowing it won't pass the Senate and if it did the president would veto. They then threaten economic disaster if it's not defunded, then delayed, then medical device tax stripped out, then they "have to get something, but don't know what." All this spearheaded by Cruz leading a rebellion against his own party comprised of one faction of one half of one third of government.

Many Republican congressman have questioned Cruz's political tactics, which may be a sign of party frustration with the Tea Party as a whole. Fellow Republicans have labeled Cruz as "either a fraud or totally incompetent" for having instigated a shutdown strategy, focused on killing ACA, that had no chance of succeeding.

While public support for the Tea Party has fallen to record lows, with many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively, Cruz's own popularity has soared among Tea Party Republicans. Unfortunately for Cruz and the Tea Party, his unfavorable rating among Americans has doubled to 36 percent from 18 percent in June.

Despite what my critics may say, I feel it's imperative that our nation has a strong conservative Republican Party. What we're seeing though, is a party lacking leadership and waging war within itself. What we've been witnessing with the divisiveness of the Tea Party is a dangerous shift to the far right and a party out of touch with the electorate and determined to maintain a strangle hold on the country in a backwards, unprogressive way. Voters, in large part, agree with them on their nominally austere fiscal policy, but these same voters are also socially liberal. They have come to perceive the Tea Party as defining themselves in terms of what they oppose — they have put forward no positive plans for dealing with unemployment, economic expansion, effective and fair dept reduction, foreign policy or diplomacy.

A Republican Party capable of standing on a conservative fiscal platform without alienating socially progressive voters would handily win over independents, moderates, and a large portion of the American electorate from the Democrats. Unfortunately, a divided Republican Party cannot win a major election — the divisions within the party are holding it back.

As a nation, we are not going to make any progress on our biggest problems without a compromise between the center-right and the center-left. But, for this to happen, we need the center-right conservatives, not the Tea Party, to be running the G.O.P.

L. J. Siden