Readers Speak Out On The Republicans' Election Lessons

November 08, 2008

Republicans have reason to find their own "hope" in the election of Sen. Barack Obama as president ("It's Obama," Nov. 5).

First, he is an admirable man who has the capability to unite and inspire this nation in its darkest hour. It can be assumed, on the other hand, that the election of Sen. John McCain as president would have, to some extent, aggravated those divisions.

Second, and more important, we Republicans have now been given a chance to take back and reform our party.

No longer do we have to concede that the public good is a concern monopolized by the left.

We Republicans believe that the public good can be better served by encouraging (and subsidizing) those element of democracy known as public service and philanthropy, rather than the clumsy hand of a government program that excuses us from action.

Our conservative principles should no longer be used as a basis for expanding government.

No matter what moral and religious beliefs we may have, we conservatives believe that small government is the best kind of government.

And most important, let's reclaim our stake in protecting and encouraging small businesses and entrepreneurship across the country. It is not our grassroots Republican Party that seeks to be the lackey for big corporations. The problem is, rather, that we have allowed our career politicians to redirect our market-oriented philosophy for their own benefit.

Our inspiring voice is out there.

We have reasons left to unite.

Tom Coale, Ellicott City

Now that the White House has changed hands, the Democrats would do well not to misread the message of this election.

This election was surely a repudiation of the policies of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. But it was not a repudiation of tenets held by a large segment of the nation.

It was not a repudiation of low tax rates, less-onerous regulation of business, less government intrusion or a tough negotiating stance in the foreign arena. It was a repudiation of taking those notions too far.

Lowering tax rates for the very top earners does little to stimulate the economy for all. And it has now been proved that taking trickle-down economics to the extreme does not work.

It is easy to understand that low tax rates and less-onerous economic regulation are better than the opposite set of policies. But too low a tax rate on those at the top of the income distribution, at the expense of those in the middle, is a worse alternative. As is too little regulation in the marketplace, which allows human nature to run amok - which is what happened in the mortgage and banking business in recent years.

But I urge the Democratic leadership not to misread and overreach in their effort to undo the damage done in the past eight years.

Mel Mintz, Baltimore

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