By: Laura Adelmann
(Photo from the Ronald Reagan Library)
Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic party has added to the growing concerns about the future of the Republican Party. While Specter's move was more about self-preservation and less about the nature of the Republican Party, the question still must be asked: Which way is the party heading: towards tolerant inclusiveness or a purge of those deemed Republicans-in-name-only (RINOs)?
I have identified myself as a conservative, a Libertarian, and a Republican. In our current two-party system, if you don't fit into the mold of one particular party, you worry that your voice won't be heard. Most people have an issue that is close to their hearts and mine is limited government. I can compromise on many things, but the expansion of government under the Bush administration was something I found frustrating and harmful to conservative ideals. I still voted for Bush in 2004 because I felt Kerry was too weak on national defense. I supported Ron Paul in 2008. I knew there was no chance that he'd get the nomination. I voted for McCain with many trepidations. I am one of the moderates that Olympia Snowe thinks the Republican Party is driving away.
The question now is, will the Republican party embrace the moderates or push them away to their own detriment? I have to agree with Rick Moran's article on PJTV that opines that purifying the party is harmful and embracing moderates is the only way the Republican Party can survive. A purified party is unified by it's ideals, but too small to garner a majority vote. Purity equals extinction.