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Open Letter to the Republican National Committee
by Vincent Fiore
15 September 2003Republican Elephant

Dear Mr. Chairman: Are there any clear lines between the two major political parties?


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 far enacted.

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.

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