Friday, April 12, 2013

Principled Republicanism

One by one, Principled Republicans have been emerging since the November elections.  They have been emerging and stating their positions on what pundits call "social issues."

The Principles of Republicanism have been previously published on this website and can be accessed here.

Principled Republicans closeted themselves over a decade ago in the face of a relentless attack on their characters, their principles and their abilities to win elections. The attacks came primarily from self-proclaimed conservatives. The attackers forget that the main purpose of a major political party is to win elections.

Principled Republicans "believe the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability, and responsibility must be honored," and "believe in equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability," while they  "believe Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom, and human rights throughout the world." Their beliefs again can be accessed here.

Over the last few weeks, Principled Republicans have been emerging with pro-gay marriage positions, including our Senator Mark Kirk, State Representative Ed Sullivan and State Senator Ron Sandack.

They have placed Republican Principles ahead of a Republican platform which contradicts those very same principles. These good Republicans and others are now under attack by groups and individuals that demand that all Republicans rigidly walk and think in lockstep with the "Republican platform." Like Communists demand of their membership. Like Socialists demand of their membership. Like Fascists demanded of their membership.

Political vampire groups have been busy raising money from Republicans for the express purpose of attacking Principled Republicans and to purge the party of them. These political vampire groups plan no purges of Democrats.  Just Republicans. These groups do not even claim to be Republican, but are quick to judge in their own minds who is a good principled Republican.

And yes, it is all pretty strange.

For months I have been asking fellow Republicans what happens when our principles conflict with our platform. Many have responded that it is time to correct or amend the platform. The rest treat the platform as the Bible, which is not subject to amendments. Again, the Principles of Republicans can be accessed here. Those principles need to be carefully studied and understood. It's time to stop ignoring them.

Its time the Republican party return to the Principles of Republicanism which made it great. On social issues, it is time we respect the privacy and liberty of all Americans and stop paying lip service to or contradicting ourselves on those rights.

President Obama just a few months ago announced his support for gay marriage. Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton a few weeks ago announced her support for gay marriage. The press hardly mentions Democratic late converts to this issue, but feature only Republicans.

Senator Mark Kirk and those other elected principled Republican office holders, I support your principled stands on this particular social issue. I agree with your principled stands. I recognize that you all have a lot to lose in your political careers in taking such stands and I admire you for those stances.

I by comparison would have far less to lose. Any positions I hold in the Republican Party are unpaid elected or volunteer in nature. Should I find myself removed from those positions, I would lose nothing more than a little pride a few titles, and save considerable money and time in the process.

With that in mind, I too will publicly take a stand. From this point forward, where the Republican Platform conflicts with Principles of Republicanism, I will make it a point to stand on those principles.

Enough is enough.


  1. Thank you Lou!!! If you could send this to everyone in the 10th you would double the number of LCGOP members.

    Dan Rogers

  2. Is the purpose of a party to win elections? Or to advance an agenda? That is like asking if the purpose of Walmart is to make a profit? Or to sell things that people want to buy at prices people want to buy? To win for the sake of winning is to put a political party on the same level as a pro sports team where players can jump to whichever team offers mo money or the best chance of winning.

    Many would object that a party is not like pro sports in that respect. Many in business take pride in providing what their customers want and take offense at the idea that profit is their only goal.

    The ONLY way for a political party to achieve either WIN or AGENDA is to recognize that a party is a voluntary association of CONVENIENCE between those possessed solely with the ego to win and those dedicated to an agenda. Most of the time, it is a combination of ego and agenda in the same person.

    To have both ego/win and agenda as components of the party, there must be limits to both. Limits that are too big or too small will not work. At one extreme, we don't want Argentina's Peron, regardless of how good the agenda. On the other hand, we don't want an agenda so narrow as to exclude everyone but me, the only person with the perfect agenda.

    So we need a big tent. But the big tent must have limits. We don't welcome David Duke or child molestors. But where do we draw the limits?

  3. I disagree. The Platform is there for a reason. We also must remember that morals are important. When does it stop? What will we continue to accept? How big does the "tent" have to get?

  4. Louis,
    I wouldn't call a "republican" that is aligning with Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein, and Rahm Emanuel, pushing more useless gun control a principled republican, I'd call him a democrat. That's what's become of Mark Kirk as senator.
    Also, I don't see how these "republicans" like pat brady, mark kirk and now ed sullivan, "coming out" in support of gay marriage is being principled, so much as pandering to the democrat base.
    I agree with anon-8:50am, if these "republicans" don't like the platform, go through the proper channels to change it, or in the case of Mark Kirk, change to a "D".
    This pandering these "republicans" are doing these days are just going keep the remaining conservatives in Illinois home on election day and elect more democrats.
    I guess the next example of "principled republicanism" would be signing on to the obama/democrat immigration reform - because illegal,er, sorry, undocumented immigrants are individuals too requiring equal rights, justice, and opportunity. Aren't they?

  5. Lou, thanks for your thoughtful article - however, I really disagree with your perspective. You state that the purpose of a party is to win elections. If a principled person is one who holds to a conviction, regardless of political expediency or social pressure, how, then, is it “principled” to keep changing those principles to adapt to whatever will win elections? And why is it that it is ALWAYS Republicans who are expected to change their “principles” - there will always be more ground that the opposition expects us to concede. Why do “Principled Republicans” no longer stand for what they have always stood for, strong families, upholding the constitution, protecting the unborn and valuing life? Why do these same “Principled Republicans” compromise on gun legislation, energy policy, immigration “reform”, irresponsible stimulus spending and unproven education policy, in addition to the issue of same-sex “marriage”? And finally, why are those who uphold a principled Republican platform unfairly and inappropriately compared to Communists, Socialists and Facists?

    Time and again Republicans fool themselves into thinking they are the “principled”, as they concede more and more ground to embrace the liberal agenda, thinking themselves enlightened or progressive while it is the truly principled who are betrayed by the Republican party. This is not to say that there are no areas in which to compromise – of course in any party, there will of necessity continue to be. But when a party moves to abandon significant planks of the party platform to satisfy the so-called “principled” in order to win elections, we eventually become a party that stands for nothing.

    Many in the party have seen their principles traded away for power and political gain, sacrificed for expediency and clout. They long for leaders who will stand for what they have always stood for even under pressure to change - the very definition of principled. It is time we find those leaders who will not capitulate because in the end, no one wants to vote for people who really, beneath it all, stand for nothing.

    I appreciate that you choose to take a stand with those you feel are principled - I will take my stand as well, and I stand with those who respect the values that stand the test of time, that are rooted in preserving the well-being of the culture in which we live and who will not apologize for those principles. It is they, not the newly-enlightened “principled Republicans” who demonstrate the most courage. Enough is, indeed, enough.

  6. Lou-

    I agree with you here. As a party we have lost sight of what is important. It isn't about being on the same page on every issue. It's about working together on the majority of issues. And we need to recognize that the day to day battle is not about our agenda, it's about locking up the independent voters. Thereby advancing a general perspective of government.

    To the individual taking shots at Senator Mark Kirk, really? Are you so delusional to think that any other Republican could win and hold that seat in the Senate? Mark has always been a pro-choice, pro-civil rights and limited gun control advocate. I worked on his very first campaign / staff and those three issues have ALWAYS been the ones where he directly crossed the aisle. I know, I walked door to door discussing them with voters during the summer and fall of 2000.

    Here's reality. Recent polling shows that independents see the Democrats as spending too much and Republican's as obstructing too much. In other words, the party that allows the moderates to hold real power has the potential to attract the independent voter. Make no mistake, you cannot win a general election without the independents and, in Illinois, you had better steal a few moderate Democrats too.

    The partisan battles in recent years are hurting our government. The President is trying to paint Republicans as the problem, even though his liberal perspectives are not moving. But Boehner and McConnell cannot being the ones who stand in front of a microphone and call the President out for lack of compromise. The Moderates have to be the ones who say "here is the middle ground, we are waiting for the President to meet us here." When that happens, then we can win.

    People often state that the most effective American presidents of the last 40 or 50 years are Reagan and Clinton. Why is that the case? It is because they both were without partisan control of Congress, but they were able to work with the other party to pass legislation. In other words, the laws that were passed were decided by the moderate legislators. One of the most powerful....Congressman John Porter, IL 10.

    In reality, when you don't have control of the White House and Congress, it is the Mark Kirk's of the world who are the most valuable in all of Congress.