[I]f the [Republican] party is to succeed, it is vital we focus like a laser on policies that … form the foundation of what has been the traditional Republican brand of conservatism, which falls in the centre-right segment of the political spectrum and aligns with our inherently centre-right nation. Today’s new conservatism, however, has moved ideologically to the right, forsaking the party’s historical belief that, even within our philosophy of limited government, there is a legitimate role for government to help maximise individual initiative and potential. That shift is alienating constituencies that should be our natural allies and are crucial to making us a majority party.
Olympia Snowe, “How the Republican party can win“, Financial Times, 17 July 2012.
Olympia Jean Snowe (née Bouchles; born 1947) is the senior United States Senator from Maine. She will retire in January, when her third term ends.
Sir, Although Olympia Snowe’s suggestion for “How the Republican party can win in November” is riddled with platitudes, the core of her argument is correct. The GOP can win only by moving back to the American centre right. ….
What Senator Snowe ignores is that this political space is already occupied by President Barack Obama and most of his party. (Let us not forget that the Affordable Care Act’s reforms to healthcare were originally put forth by the conservative Heritage Foundation and first implemented by a certain Republican governor.) Rather than an independent move, I see the GOP’s dramatic shift to the right as a response to the Democrats’ shameful clamouring for the “centre” of independent voters.
Indeed, the brilliance of recent Republican tactics has been to paint former GOP positions as leftist extremism. ….
What is needed is not a Republican party adhering to the “core tenets” embodied in Ronald Reagan. We already have this, it is called the Democratic party. What the country needs is actual multi-party politics, in which a centre left party, and perhaps even a progressive party, could exist.
Anthony Bonen, “America needs political parties to reflect its diversity“, letter to the editor, Financial Times, 24 July 2012.