Colorado Republicans must forget past differences and work together

Here’s a riddle: What do the movies Rob Roy, Braveheart and Monty Python’s Life of Brian have in common with this last weekend’s Republican state assembly?

Sure, an obvious answer is the need for focus. I’m certain some of you took the esoteric route of kilts, face painting and long speeches, but the real commonality is the need to recognize what you’re trying to get done and put that above problems you have with one another.

Our historical characters in the Scottish-based movies were working to try and bring groups of people (clans) together to fight a common enemy — whom the parties liked only slightly less than they did each other. Ale, Claymores and political grudges make for lively meetings but poor cooperation.

The Monty Python example contains the comical illustration of groups (Jewish liberation) whose main goal was to throw off Roman oppression but were often angrier at other liberation groups over slight philosophical differences. Consequently, they split themselves into small ineffectual groups who had trouble remembering that the real problem, was the Romans.

I thought about this when I was visiting with friends who had attended the assembly and who, while generally pleased, were still concerned that the focus of some attendees continued to be on areas of disagreement with the probable nominee, Mitt Romney, while still carrying a torch for the candidate they had originally supported.

I understand the impulse, many conservatives feel they have had to figuratively hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils since 1988. Personally, I recognize I’m conservative enough that the last presidential candidate I probably could’ve supported wholeheartedly was George Washington and even then I would’ve felt better about it if Adam Smith would’ve been the VP. Sadly, as a Scot (see the connections were working on here) he would not have been eligible.

What has developed over the last eight years seems to be a hardening of positions in both political parties. The Democrats seem to have arrived at the conclusion that any Democrat is better than any Republican at any time. This is a pretty hard-core position when you consider we are glimpsing a party that appears to be pushing an energy policy of cute electric cars that run on moonbeams.

Republicans seem to have adopted the policy that no one who wants to be nominated for a position can be trusted with our vote. It is true that in the majority of instances, anyone wanting a job in politics badly enough to spend the enormous amount of time and money to run for it, cannot be trusted with representing a constituency. Not always the case, just a general rule.

However, the sculptor must work with the clay provided, and at some point Republicans have to decide that the clay provided has to be molded into a winning entry. I understand the temptation of some to sit on their hands in disappointment, in which case let me quote a couple of not actually trite homilies: “To the victor goes the spoils” and “Winners write the history.”

If that’s not enough, consider the consequences of non-participation as a conservative. Let me suggest a little time travel into President Obama’s second term. We can do it without actually having to invent a time machine.

Why not start with a walking tour of today’s central Detroit? There’s nothing quite like exploring a desolate moonscape that used to be a productive manufacturing center prior to four decades of progressive governance.

If you survive that adventure, which seems kind of doubtful, why not try an internship in California? There you can get a close up view of a bankrupt state continuing to spend money on things like high-speed rail projects they can’t afford to places that don’t want them.

Be sure to learn the watchwords of that type of government — the bank account is never empty as long as you have checks, the definition of rich will eventually be anyone with a job and those rich people can never be taxed enough. It seems to me the job of Colorado delegates to the Republican convention is to prevent this kind of future, not make some kind of point.

Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.


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