Hoping for More Thoughtful Voices for Republican Party

County Legislator Jim Maisano offers some thoughts on future of the GOP.


As we move beyond the 2012 Election, I remain a frustrated Republican. I'm probably more frustrated now with the GOP, then at any point since I joined more than 20 years ago. I certainly reside in the moderate wing of the party and am still a believer in Lee Atwater's "Big Tent" philosophy from 1989: "Our party is a big tent. We can house many views on many issues.”

Over the past few years, I cringe when Republicans say dumb things like Senate candidates Akin and Murdock, whose rape comments reached new levels of idiocy. And don't forget Senator Mitch McConnell's classic line in 2010, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." No Senator, your priority should be governing effectively and improving your state and country. (Some local election experts believe I lost my close race for Supreme Court in 2010 because of my party's bizarre candidate for NYS Governer, Carl Paladino, who offered daily absurd comments).

The media has gleefully repeated ad infinitum since Election Day that Republicans have alienated the roughly 50% of the electorate that includes African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, people under 30 and single women. Despite the liberal mainstream media taking every opportunity to create such divisions between Republicans and these voting groups, the numbers do not lie, and, of course, the GOP must do a better job of presenting an inclusive message and reaching out to all voters.

Therefore, I was thrilled to read an op-ed in The New York Times on November 19, 2012 by David Brooks: The Conservative Future. (Please read column at link). Brooks begins with some good news:

"If you listened to the Republican candidates this year, you heard a conventional set of arguments. But if you go online, you can find a vibrant and increasingly influential center-right conversation. Most of the young writers and bloggers in this conversation intermingle, but they can be grouped, for clarity’s sake, around a few hot spots:"

Brooks continues with an interesting presentation of the ideologies reflected by these young conservative bloggers. I'm certainly very tired of listening to polarizing people such as Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich on political talk shows and can only hope that new voices are emerging reflecting the thoughtfulness of these conservative bloggers. In my political world of Westchester County, I do my best to be an intelligent Republican voice for good government and bipartisan governance.

I look forward to being a member of a political party where every single American voter is willing to consider casting a vote for our candidates, but the GOP has serious work to do and can start by taking Atwater's advice very seriously.

Jim Maisano

County Legislator



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