Over at TMV Pete Abel has put in his last call for moderate Republicans and Independents to sign The Letter (full text below). Simply put if you believe that America would benefit from a more moderate Republican party please take the time to sign it by emailing Pete at abel.replyATgmail.com
December 3, 2007
House Republican Conference
Republican National Committee
Republican Governors Association
Leading GOP Presidential Candidates
National Republican Senatorial Committee
We, the undersigned, are moderate Republican and Independent voters who represent a growing force within the electorate.
Republican candidates will need to increasingly reckon with us in the months and years ahead, as we mobilize for no purpose less dramatic than the rescue of this Party and the refocusing of its platform on the bedrock principles of individual liberty and limited government; lower taxes and free markets; a strong national defense and collaborative foreign policy.
We intend this letter as an encouragement to GOP leaders who (a) embrace the principles outlined above; (b) recognize that the narrow-minded strategies of certain social conservatives have made the Party a shadow of its former self; (c) reject these social conservativesâ€™ alienating approach; and (d) prefer what former U.S. Senator John Danforth has labeled a politics of â€œreconciliation,â€ a politics wherein we seek to emphasize what unites rather than what divides us. If you fit in this category, we encourage you to speak up and boldly state your beliefs, without equivocation. And if certain social conservatives attack you for doing so, we will be there to lend our support.
We believe the wise use of taxpayer dollars requires our government to avoid deficits and the enormous and unnecessary burden those deficits will place on future generations.
We believe in personal responsibility, self-reliance, capitalism, and the power of markets â€“ markets that are allowed to operate with the least possible degree of regulation that is necessary to safeguard fair play and equal opportunity.
We believe in prudent actions that advance our national security, grounded in a foreign policy that, quoting former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, is â€œpremised on the understanding that the rest of the world matters to us,â€ and that thus we should guard â€œagainst becoming ensnared in nation-building enterprises and push for policies that engage us with the world community and show, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, â€˜a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.â€™â€
We believe in the U.S. Constitution, its checks and balances, and importantly, the protections it affords our citizens such as habeas corpus. We further believe habeas corpus and other fundamental cornerstones of our Republic should be carefully guarded and delicately balanced during both times of peace and times of war, especially during extended, complex, and largely open-ended conflicts like todayâ€™s war on terror.
We believe in maximizing personal liberty and minimizing government interference in our private lives, including the lives of pregnant women, terminally ill patients, gays, lesbians, and all other categories of responsible, law-abiding adults. Again quoting Governor Whitman: â€œThe defining feature of the conservative viewpoint is a faith in the ability, and a respect for the right, of individuals to make their own decisions â€“ economic, social, and spiritual â€“ about their lives. The true conservative understands that governmentâ€™s track record in respecting individual rights is poor when it dictates individual choices. Accordingly, the conservative desires to limit governmentâ€™s reach as much as possible. Traditional conservatives adhere to the maxim, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that government governs best that governs least.â€
We further believe that the truest pro-life position is one which allows and encourages the ethical pursuit of all scientific research that holds promise for mitigating diseases that afflict our families and friends.
We believe the education of our young people is critical to our future as a nation and that realistic, fiscally conservative policies should be developed to further advance educational standards, opportunities, and access, from the lowest grades to the highest, from kindergarten through college.
We believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our citizens, with an emphasis on children, seniors, and others who are truly in need and cannot otherwise afford health care.
We also believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our environment, with careful attention paid to protecting our economic vitality and objective analyses of the proâ€™s and conâ€™s of alternative energy sources.
In summary, we embrace what management guru Jim Collins â€“ in his bestselling book Built to Last â€“ called the â€œGenius of the AND.â€ We believe the GOP and its members can and should be simultaneously pro-choice and pro-life; pro-environment and pro-economy; pro-family and pro-liberty; pro-budget and pro-opportunity; pro-security and pro-Constitution. These beliefs need not be contradictory nor exclusive.
If you are and/or know an incumbent or prospective GOP candidate who shares these beliefs and wants Republicans and Independents to stand united behind him or her, we encourage you to let us know, so we can add you and/or those you know to the roster of leaders we will support with our votes, voices, volunteers, and dollars.