A Republican unity recipe

Does the unbending commitment to moral issues by some in the GOP ordain a party fracture? So we're being told by centrist critics in the wake of election 2008. That logic is not only false, it's politically suicidal. Another version of this apocalyptic nonsense was heard after Colorado passed the Referendum C tax increase. My rebuttal back then, late 2005, was to argue that there are at least 20 (if not 120) deeply held beliefs to bind us together even if the specifics of tax policy happen to divide us. I wrote the following list of 21 items to prove it, placing taxes last.

Notice that abortion and marriage can also be placed very low on the list and still leave many compelling common causes for America's conservative party to agree on -- and win with. Republicans can and must continue to be the pro-life, pro-family, pro-religion party and the pro-freedom, pro-growth, pro-defense party. It's not either-or!

21 Things that Republicans Believe and Democrats Don't

Even when Republicans find ourselves divided over one issue, there are still many others that should unify us as a party – and stiffen our backbone against the opposition party. Here are 21 examples.

Look at all the good reasons we have to stick together. Most Republicans agree with each statement below. Most Democrats do not. They would either flatly disagree, or they’d be very uneasy with it.

Now consider this: unless the GOP remains a united, competitive force in the political arena, we leave our beliefs undefended for the liberals to roll forward in transforming this country into a very different place from what it is today. So the choice is ours: hang together or hang separately.

1. Our rights come from God, not government, and they belong to individuals, not groups.

2. God is real, according to the best evidence of human wisdom throughout the ages, and religious faith is generally beneficial for human well-being.

3. Our constitution is a permanent document that must be followed in its original written meaning unless formally amended – not a living document to be remolded by judges

4. America is and must remain one common culture, a melting pot enriched by many influences – not a multicultural salad bowl.

5. Federalism should continue as intended by America’s founders, with checks and balances between state power and federal power.

6. Private property is essential to a free society.

7. Free enterprise is the best system for creating opportunity and sharing wealth.

8. Courts and judges should interpret the law and the constitution as written – not seek to rewrite them. They should enforce personal responsibility and protect those who have been harmed – not conduct a lawsuit lottery.

9. Crime should be punished as a matter of personal responsibility, not excused as a matter of therapy.

10. Guns and other means of personal self-defense should be minimally regulated.

11. American military superiority is necessary in a dangerous world.

12. National security is better served by American sovereignty than it is by the United Nations.

13. Schools should respect parental choice and authority – challenge children with a high standard of truth and virtue – and be staffed by education professionals, not labor unions.

14. Colleges should not use tax dollars to teach our young people that Western civilization is worthless and America is a nation to be ashamed of.

15. Welfare should be a safety net for misfortune, not a hammock for dependency.

16. Health care policy should be based on personal choice, personal responsibility, and free markets.

17. Transportation policy should be based on individuals having freedom of mobility in their own cars.

18. Environmental policy should recognize humans as the highest species and economic growth as a positive good.

19. Abortion law should recognize there is not just one life but two lives in the balance when a woman seeks to end a pregnancy.

20. Marriage between one man and one woman warrants preference in law for its humanly natural, socially nourishing, and historically proven benefits.

21. Taxes are necessary as part of the price we pay for a civilized society, but taxes are also dangerous because the power to tax involves the power to destroy.