Some people have told me that I am not conservative enough to be a Republican.
I’m often asked why I’m a Republican, and it’s a question that deserves a response, for two reasons. First, I reject the assertion that others get to tell me what it means to be a Republican, and second, because those of us who want to earn the public trust should be prepared to tell the public what we stand for.
I believe in climate change, I believe in comprehensive immigration reform, and I believe that it is a leadership failure to shut down the federal government and imperil the lives of public employees over the alarming actions of a single organization. I believe that the federal government has an important role to play, but so do state and local governments. When government bureaucracies get involved in activities to which they are not suited, operations become less efficient, more expensive, and more complicated, and citizens are often the ones who bear the burden.
These days, both parties have been taken over by hyper-partisans, who can see no path to the collaboration necessary to effectively govern a nation of more than 300 million people. Instead of finding areas where the government can serve the people, my own party has been sidetracked by issues like abortion, gay marriage, and climate change. Many in my party have increasingly become more problem-focused and less solution–focused.
As a Republican, I end up having to explain this behavior to local voters. I admit that it is also frustrating to me because I too want my interests and those of my family and community to be well represented by those in Washington. But many of the Republicans who are so vocal in the media do not represent my interests or beliefs, nor do I believe they exemplify the vast majority of Republicans in this country who are going about their lives, raising their families, and who also want to see a government where different parties work together to solve the many challenges before us.
When Pope Francis was visiting the U.S., he said that a Church that does nothing but explain its doctrine is dangerously imbalanced. This is true of political parties as well. If my Party seeks only to trumpet its ideology without offering solutions and a willingness to compromise, then it has become dangerously imbalanced.
The Republican Party that I am proud to be a member of is the party of Teddy Roosevelt, who created the national parks system; Eisenhower, who safeguarded America in the dark early days of the Cold War by establishing a strong national security deterrent; Calvin Coolidge, who advocated for the civil rights of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; and Jack Kemp, who focused on innovative ways to share the American dream with the poor. These are the kinds of Republicans from whom I draw inspiration, and they exemplify the kind of Republican I aspire to be.
Casey Lucius is a Pacific Grove City Councilmember and is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 20th District. For more information on her candidacy, visit www.caseylucius.com.
Add Facebook comment
Comment using your Facebook account. Facebook comments will be published on this page, and on Facebook. It will not be posted to the "Recent Comments" list on the BenitoLink front page.