The widely covered news that Republicans who were heavily involved in the 2008 elections are openly embracing our call for the GOP had to abandon the rigid social extremism gives us hope that a return to the REAL Republican agenda could actually happen. Meghan McCain, though not a seasoned politician, does speak for a growing population. She recently took on Ann Coulter in her column with The Daily Beast, and joined Steve Schmidt, McCain 2008 campaign manager, at a gathering of the Log Cabin Republicans last week. Both McCain and Schmidt spoke out about the social extremism that grips our Party and how it is killing the GOP.
Schmidt cited the Party’s losses outside the deep South and its inability to attract younger voters is calling for the Party to drop the extremists’ favorite issue of banning gay marriage. McCain spoke personally as a young Republican and her generation’s viewpoint of the GOP. She spoke about how her love of fashion, punk rock, and tattoos makes her stand out as a Republican- along with her viewpoints on gay marriage, which she supports. McCain said the “Old Guard” of social extremists in the GOP are scared of the future. McCain’s widely covered and passionate speech is being repeated as the voice of young Republicans everywhere, who tend to be more moderate:
“What I am talking about tonight is what it means to be a new, progressive Republican. Now, some will say I can’t do that. If you aren’t this and that, then you’re clearly a “Republican in Name Only” — also affectionately known as a RINO. Suggesting the notion that one can be faithful to the original core values of the GOP while open to the realities of our changing world has really hit a chord with people. And it seems to be the next, natural stage of the journey I’ve been traveling.
It would be easy to say my generation views politics very differently from others. Maybe we’re more progressive, socially liberal, or just hate arguing in lieu of actually solving the problems at hand. But what I’ve learned through my experiences is that these feelings are not contained to one age group. They’re the growing beliefs and desires of people of all ages, races, genders, faiths, persuasions, and political parties.
So tonight, I am proud to join you in challenging the mold and the notions of what being a Republican means. I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.
If there is one thing that gives me hope about the future of our party and the role you and the Log Cabin Republicans can play in it, it is this: There’s never been a better time to speak out. People are listening. And they’re more open-minded than ever before. Maybe it’s because they’re worried about the future. Maybe it’s because they’re so disenchanted with the past. It’s probably a little of both.
But know this — the moment to make a difference is now, and I am proud to share it with you. America’s best days are ahead of us. And we will show our nation that we will get there together.”
While many social extremists are- as expected- condemning McCain and Schmidt for speaking out, many others are applauding their honesty. True conservatives who are fiscally responsible and socially inclusive are celebrating their statements. It’s obvious that the fight for the Party’s core is under way, and the GOP should be listening not to the social extremists who have proved that they lose with large pockets of voters; including women and younger voters. They should be working with real Republicans who champion limited government intrusion in the personal lives of Americans.