It is not often that find myself agreeing with DNC Chairman Howard Dean. But I have to admit, that his characterization of the GOP as a “white Christian party” is not easily dismissed.
First of all, is the Republican Party White? Any objective onlooker would have to agree that the ethnic diversity of our party does not reflect the diversity of America. All too often, as I attend party events, I am one of few, if not the only Black in the room. There are generally a few more Latinos and Asians. But for the most part, the Republican Party is pretty white. But that does not mean that our party is not diverse.
We have diversity of ideas. In the Republican Party you can have divergent viewpoints on some issues and still be in leadership. You can be pro-life or pro-choice (President Bush vs. California Governor Schwarzenegger). You can be for or against affirmative action (Colin Powell vs. Ward Connerly). You can stand for traditional marriage or support giving rights to same-sex unions (Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr. vs. Vermont Governor Jodi Rell). But in the Democrat party unless you support abortion on demand, racial preferences, same-sex marriage and a whole host of other liberal policy initiatives; you will be silenced. Democrats only believe in the image of diversity, Republicans believe in diversity of ideas.
Secondly, is the Republican Party Christian? The GOP was founded on the same principles as our nation; that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. These principles find their roots in Christian faith and biblical scripture.
John Quincy Adams once stated, “Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”
So if being Christian means that we support the Christian Principles upon which our nation was founded, then Yes. We are Christian. But the real question to Mr. Dean and other Democrats is “Why aren’t you?”
As George Washington said in his farewell address “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars…”
So in the final analysis, Dean’s generalization of the GOP may be correct in image, but not in substance. We are a party of principle first and image second. And unlike their Democrat counterparts, Republican leaders are not interested in making meaningless political statements to appease a few special interest groups. They seek to make a meaningful difference in the lives of all Americans.
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