Recently, I read a social media exchange between a mother and her teenage daughter. The mother asked the girl, “What’s wrong?” and the girl responded, “I don’t want people to think I’m a Republican.” That made me stop in my tracks, and I thought, “What is wrong with being a Republican?”
Most Republicans I know are good, moral, and upstanding citizens. When I was in high school, I enjoyed civics and public policy class. My parents owned a small grocery store, and after 9 p.m. my dad and local politicians and residents would gather there and settle all of Rutland City’s problems. I learned about local issues and debate procedures, and how to do research. I learned the difference between Democrat and Republican ideologies and values. Most of all, I learned how to listen to other people’s points of view.
Because of all that exposure to Republican principles, falling in line with the Grand Old Party (GOP) felt natural to me. The 10 major principles of the GOP, as our Founding Fathers prescribed, are pretty simple. You’d think every American would support them.
- Personal responsibility is paramount.
- Less government regulation is better. It should be only adopted to fit the intent of the law.
- Preserve free-market capitalism and competition in the marketplace.
- There is a role for government, albeit limited in nature.
- Support growth and opportunity, no entitlements.
- Government must be effective and efficient and work for the people.
- Taxes should be levied based on essential public services.
- Government employees should be held accountable for their job performance.
- Laws must be enforced not flouted.
- Laws should protect the people, including the unborn from the moment of conception.
Since the inception of the GOP in 1854, Republicans have supported power and control by “We the People,” not “We the Government.” In 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln, we adopted the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to protect indentured people. Lincoln ended slavery. President Dwight Eisenhower established the federal highway system connecting all corners of America and founded NASA. In 1972, Richard Nixon opened up China and established the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.
GOP presidents fought for the desegregation of schools in the South. President Eisenhower started the Civil Rights discussions. President Reagan ended the Cold War without one bullet being fired. Many Republican presidents cut taxes and reduced overregulation of American businesses.
Democrats have given us welfare and other social programs that are aimed at making Americans dependent on the government and cost taxpayers their hard-earned money. Republicans want all of us to keep as much of our money as possible, so we’ll be able to save and build a nest egg for ourselves. So people, do not be afraid to be a Republican, be proud because for 168 years, Republicans have protected man!
Gregory Thayer is a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. He lives in Rutland.