By Greg Freyermuth, El Paso Metro

There have been some high profile departures from the Republican Party of late made more noteworthy, not by the significance of the people leaving, but by the aggrandizement of the media. Most have stated their excuses for leaving; none have been able to substantiate their claims.  Talk of the religious right and the lack of support for congressional campaigns have been the excuses, but these all fail miserably as reasons when the litmus test of scrutiny is applied.

Excuse one:  The religious right has taken over the party locally.

Other than a commitment on the part of some members of the party to halt abortions and support alternatives to the deaths of unborn children, what and where is the evidence of the religious right’s presence?  A commitment to life has always been a key plank in the Republican Platform, why is it an issue now?  Most feel child pornography is wrong, it is after all illegal, and adult clubs and video stores rob the human soul of its moral fabric.  Next time you Catholic Democrats find yourself in mass, ask your parish priest to weigh in on this.

Excuse two:  The party has failed to support its candidates in key races.

Sometimes support comes in the form of tough love.  Telling a candidate his prospects are dim and that contributors may be hesitant to offer their funds in an unlikely endeavor is support.  While it may not be what the candidate wishes to hear, it is support nonetheless.  And oh, by the way, let us not forget the committed party members passing out literature and standing on corners regardless of the prospective outcome of a particular congressional race.

Two of the three recent defectors made their hay on the backs of Republicans and the successful efforts of the Republican Party.  Two of the three owe their very political existence to the Republican Party.  The question is not what is left of the party, but rather why the need to change.  It is the same party, it would appear only some of the players have changed.  Let’s look at what the party really stands for, not what a few confused and disloyal souls want you to believe it stands for.

The right to life is fundamental to the Republican Party.  How can we as a civilized nation allow the mass murders of unborn children to continue?  In fact, a better question might be how can we as a Catholic community allow this to continue?  I have said all along I am pro-life.  But there are members of the party who are not.  Some of these people reside in the current administration’s cabinet.  There must therefore be room in the party for those a little uncomfortable with their lack of religious conviction, so much for Mrs. Sumrall’s assertion.

Another key tenet to the cause of Republicanism is the concept that we as a people are best served by the smallest and least intrusive government.  I am not rich, may never be, but I still feel my family is my responsibility and I am the one best suited to provide for it.  To offer one the ability to push back onto government the task of feeding, clothing and housing only serves to crush the very soul of the man or woman charged with that family’s care.  Sometimes, compassion comes in the form of self-sufficiency and responsibility for oneself.  Sorry, Mr. Power, but that was the mantra of the Republican Party before you showed up and most of us take offense with you expecting anything less.

Lastly, the Republican Party believes in the free market economy.  We feel when there is a need, the industry specific to that need will always provide the best and the most affordable solution.  This is caused by two factors: The ability to generate a profit and the introduction of competition.  When there is a profit making opportunity and the right to compete for it, entrepreneurial Americans will step up to the plate and deliver every time.

Most of us feel the Republican way is the American way.  We came to the party because it mirrored our belief system and allowed us to pursue our American dream, whatever that dream was, without compromising our values or surrendering our freedoms.  It is not the easiest path to take and, in this town, the path less traveled.  But doing right and staying true to one’s moral convictions and value system doesn’t often provide the chance to surrender to traveling the easy path.

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