For the past 18 months I have had the privilege and pleasure of sharing with you, the citizens of Carroll County, my opinions and thoughts on a variety of subjects. I appreciate those of you who have contacted me to share your thoughts and opinions, whether you agreed with me or not.
There is one thought that I have not shared, and that is why I belong to the Republican Party.
I became a Republican because I believe that the proper function of government is to do for the people those things that have to be done, but cannot be done by individuals.
I believe that the most effective government is government that is closest to the people.
I believe that good government is based on the individual. Each person's ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility must be honored and recognized.
I believe that sound money management by all government should be our goal.
I believe in the free enterprise system. I believe that individual initiative must be encouraged and nurtured. Our free enterprise system and individual incentive have made our country the model for the free world's economy.
I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex or national origin.
I believe that a strong national defense is necessary to preserve our position in the world.
I believe that it is far better to give a man a fishing pole and teach him to fish, than to deliver fish to his door every day, free of charge.
I believe that the Republican Party is the best vehicle for implementing these ideals into positive and successful principles government.
But, having said all of that, let me tell you what I believe the Republican Party is not and should not become.
I believe that the Republican Party is not strictly for conservatives or Christians. My voter registration card does not indicate a "C." My voter card does not indicate an "F" for fundamentalist, or a "B" for born again. There is no "A" for anti-choice, or "H" for heterosexual. My voter registration card does not indicate my sex or religious beliefs, but rather a single, capital "R" for Republican.
I am a member of the party of Lincoln, who emancipated the slaves; of Theodore Roosevelt, whose efforts preserved 234 million acres of forest land in our nation for conservation. I am a member of the party of Dwight Eisenhower, who commanded all of the allied forces in Europe during World War II, and who became a civilian leader for world peace after that same war.
I am proud to be a member of the party of Ronald Reagan, who appointed the first woman as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor.
This is the Republican Party I joined and this was the party I was proud to work for and to be a part of; a party of moderation, a party of inclusion.
The Republican Party is facing change. Inclusion is becoming exclusion. At times it appears that only white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, Anglo-Saxon males need apply. Our party history proves otherwise. Our party history should be studied and learned by the new members of our party. They should learn what this party is all about, what its members have stood for during the last century and a half.
They should learn moderation from our past members and learn to be more like them and their ideals. The extremisms of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have come and gone, and the moderates have always survived. The moderates have been there after the bitter infighting to pick up the pieces and go on to better days, and that's just what we moderates will be willing to do again in the future, after the extremists in both parties have fought their current battles.
But, then that is "AS I SEE IT." Thanks for the opportunity to say my piece, twice monthly, for the past year and a half.