Sunday, May 3, 2009

Moral Right or Political Might?

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of news articles discussing the future of the Republican Party. Most have called for change and a move to a more moderate stance.

Steve Schmidt, senior strategist for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign has said that Republicans are in danger of losing younger voters.

Meghan McCain, Senator McCain’s daughter has similarly called for a moderating of some of the Party’s positions.

Senator Arlen Specter, who this week switched to the Democratic Party, noted that groups who target moderate to liberal Republicans in state primaries, are costing the party wins in general elections. He specifically noted former Senator Lincoln Chafee who spent resources to fend off a conservative challenger in 2006, and then narrowly lost in the general election.

Although there is some agreement that the far right wing of the Republican Party, and its unwillingness to compromise, are hurting the Party’s electoral successes; there is perhaps less agreement on how much and where that compromise should take place.

Of concern to some is that there is more willingness to compromise on morals than on economics.

For example, Schmidt’s concern about losing younger voters is that the Party does not realize how they feel about same-sex marriage. “Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values . . . .”

Meghan McCain expressed similar feelings, hoping that the Republican Party could become an umbrella party, more inclusive, and broader in its appeal.

How will the Republican Party change? On what will it compromise? If, as Schmidt intimates, moral issues are not among its core values, what are its core values?

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