BY A. LAWRENCE CHICKERING AND JAMES S. TURNER
From Creative Destruction Will Allow Republicans and Democrats to Rebuild After 2016
In short, each party lacks balance and has retreated to its political corner. Each embraces pandering and the politics of division. And each has nominated a candidate that voters rightly don’t trust, leaving us a choice of “lesser evils.”
As lifelong Republicans who have spent our political life seeking to build bridges, we know that Trump’s bullying, imprudence, and unpreparedness would be dangerous for our country. On Election Day, we must vote against Trump, to protect the country, and for most down-ballot Republicans, to restrain the Democrats in Congress.
But Americans deserve better. Gallup polls now confirm that most Americans are “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” As hopeful believers in the American dream, most Americans want a sustainable society based on innovation and opportunity, security and trust, private charity and public safety-net, inclusion and religious liberty, personal freedom and human dignity. That aspiration should be at the core of each political party. It is not.
And we Republicans must create a Party that once again champions civil debate, science, inclusion and religious freedom for all faiths, including Muslims. We must build a movement that fights for prison and police reform because we do not have justice until we have justice for all. We must stand for the middle class and the poor, one nation of opportunity, undivided by class, race, or gender. We must remain committed to fiscal and environmental sustainability, for the benefit of future generations and support a strong defense–including a plan to defeat terrorists and minimize war.
For America’s sake, Trump must fail, but each party still needs real change. The irony is that, in the wake of Trump’s self-destruction, we Republicans may be more motivated to make that change, from which could rise a renewed, inclusive party of Lincoln. That is our opportunity.
Rich Tafel is CEO of Public Squared and Founder of Log Cabin Republicans and Ted Buerger is Co-founder and Chairman of AmericanTowns.com and previously Chairman of the non-partisan Center for the Study of the Presidency (1998-2000).