Dear Mr. Chairman,
First and foremost sir, I congratulate you on your posting as the Head of
America's majority political organization, the RNC. As I have seen you throughout
the years on numerous political programs, and remember you standing tall
with House members for the Contract with America in 1995, it is hard to imagine
anybody else as capable as you at the helm. We all hope this leads the Republican
Party to victory in 2004, which brings me to the reason I am writing this
letter to you.
I have recently received a letter from you and the RNC asking to contribute
to the President's reelection campaign in 2004. As I'm sure your aware, the
record will show that although my contributions are modest, they are numerous,
and encompassing, spanning both Republican Senate and House members. But
I will not be sending any money this time, and I may have to rethink my allegiance
altogether. I wonder if you know just how truly dismayed conservatives and
Republicans were when they read the article from New Hampshire's Union Leader
Sunday news, essentially saying that there are no longer clear lines as to
the difference between the two political parties in America. Is Ronald Reagan's
legacy so short-lived that it has come to this?
Now, of course I heard Rush Limbaugh say not to "call the RNC and harass
them over this," conjuring up images of members beating down your door, or
burning their 2003 RNC membership cards. Your appearance on "Meet The Press,"
while defending yourself and the President admirably against DNC Chairmen
Terry McAuliffe, did little to assuage the queasy feeling I have felt since
President Bush signed his first piece of major social legislation, the "No
Child Left Behind" act of 2001. While I genuinely look up to the President,
and trust him with regard to the decisions he makes keeping America safe,
conservatives are increasingly agitated over the domestic agenda he has so
Upon hearing your supposed admissions to the Union Leader, it was
like getting shot through the heart. In case you may not have noticed, it
is the geopolitical governance of President Bush that has kept conservatives
largely quiet. His foreign policy is most assuredly Reaganesque, but his
domestic policy is more decidedly Nixonian. What is not at question is the
love and trust most Americans have for this President, qualities missing
from the White House since the days of Reagan.
Chairman Gillespie, you must come out much stronger in defense of this article from the Union Leader,
and you must tell the President something for the American conservative/republican
electorate in the country. He (the President) is in real danger of losing
the support of a large portion of his base, and we (conservatives/Republicans)
are in danger of developing an apathetic attitude towards politics in general
if we see no appreciable difference between the domestic policies of Ted
Kennedy and those of George W. Bush.
The Union Leader asks, "Where else are you [conservatives] going to
go? To the Democrats? To the Libertarians? They [the Republican Party] don't
think so." By and large, that is probably the correct sentiment. The Dean's
and Buchanan's of those other Parties will not bring the base over. Conservatives
and Republicans will chose a third option, as we have before. We will
stay home. Not out of malice, but out of despair with this grifter's game
called politics. It is little wonder why only 33% of the 18-24 yr. olds in
this country voted in the last general election. There is nobody to believe
in. And when they think they finally have found someone worthy of that precious
commodity called trust, they witness political sophistries uttered daily
and dutifully, leeching away the foundations of certainty and conviction.
Seasoned electorates feel this way too. It is how I at times feel, and I
know I speak for a lot of others outside of Washington. While it is true
that I am just one vote among millions, a nobody from nowhere in particular,
I felt compelled to tell you, Chairman Gillespie, what is troubling me so.
I have often wondered, with all the President's popularity, and the adoration
of a nation to build upon, why conservative ideas were not brought directly
to the American people to hear, like Ronald Reagan did throughout his career.
Americans, if you ask, live their lives conservatively. If the President
had done this, using the megaphone that is the bully pulpit, my fellow conservatives
and I would not be so unsure as to the President's agenda in his next term,
if there is to be one, and what program will be "his" with a heaping portion
of liberalism on the side. I mean no cynicism by these words, but the legislation
enacted thus far is there for all to see.
There has been too much of the "new tone" in the beltway and not enough bloodletting
on the chamber floors against a progressive ideology that hasn't yet realized
its days are numbered. Conservatives are fierce in our loyalties, but terrible
in our vengeance. It is a hard sell when the product you're selling daily
does not live up to the billing. While keeping some major Conservative principles
intact, White House policy, the President's policies, have taken on a nomadic
aspect in other areas. This is not the direction we envisioned for the future
of the country.
In closing, Chairman Gillespie, convince me. Convince me and other conservatives
like me to support the Party that it is still the party of Ronald Reagan.
I will be looking and listening very hard at the parties' positions in the
near future, and will see if I have been hasty in my hand wringing. For if
it is true that the Republican Party will not deny the advancement of Government
into our everyday lives for the sake of a vote, then a vote may not be worth
casting if the choice is the equivalent to either being a fool, or following
one. Which is more foolish?
Vincent Fiore is a freelance writer.