Stephanie Klick from Tarrant County writes:
1) So long as it's in the opposition, where should the Republican Party focus its energy?
We must get back to our core principals of limited government, personal responsibility, free market economic solutions and individual Liberty. I know this appear to be general in scope but these core principals can be applied to every issue that confronts our nation.
2) What is the most worrisome part of Barack Obama's presidency?
Restrictions on individual liberty and the fiscal impact of his programs.
The President and his polices are causing a great deal of economic uncertainty. This President has no private sector experience. He has never had to meet payroll, or consider the fiscal impact of taxes and regulations on a business. When the burden becomes too great, businesses have to downsize to continue to compete. This President has no understanding of this. There is no fiscal discipline in this administration.
If the Healthcare Legislation or Cap & Trade legislation passes, the economy will further nosedive.
3) There's been a lot of debate about the role that talk radio and cable news hosts should play on the right. Particularly controversial are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Mark Levin. What do you think about these folks? Do they help the right or hurt it (or is it more complicated than that?) How should Republicans interact with them?
All the shows you mentioned are successful competitors in the “marketplace of ideas”.
With millions of listeners , one of the important roles that Conservative media plays right now is covering stories that traditional media ignore, like the ACORN story. They also expose Republicans who are not voting and behaving as Republicans. Both are important.
4) One particularly fraught controversy pertains to race in America -- with the first black president in the White House, some conservatives have been criticized as racists for opposing him, and some on the right have accused the Obama Administration or its allies of racism or anti-white sentiments (for example, Sonja Sottomayor's "wise Latina" comment drew fire, as did the Skip Gates incident). As the right thinks about political strategy and policy, how should it approach matters of race?
I think the left is overplaying their hand on matters of race. It is an effort to change the subject rather than debate the issues.
In Texas we have 3 statewide African American officials. All are Republican. In my county of nearly 1 million registered voters we have 2 countywide judges who are African American. All are Republican.
The Vice Chair of the Texas Republican Party and my own local Vice Chair are both African American.
5) Is there anything you observe locally, or that Republicans in your area of the country care about, that doesn't get sufficient attention in the national media conversation? If so tell me a bit about the issue, and the approach you think the right ought to take.
Transportation issues and how to best address them are a huge issues locally. We have had enormous growth and with it increasing gridlock. Proposals for toll roads and rail are being met with a great deal of public opposition.
6) Traditionally the Republican Party has been a coalition of religious conservatives, libertarians, fiscal conservatives, and national security conservatives. Is that alliance viable going forward? If so, what must be done to hold it together? If not, what alliance should the GOP try to build? These groups still encompass a good deal of our base. With the Healthcare debate we are seeing the number of Senior Citizens and small business people getting involved locally. With Washington, now controlled by Democrats, we are seeing a surge in small business owners re-engaging locally, including those that are minority owned.
We are also hearing from Democrats who acknowledge they voted for this President, who are opposed to what he is doing and are changing Parties. The Rassmusen poll numbers also indicate
That that Democrats are losing support from their own base.
7) Is there anything I didn't ask about that you'd like the media or the country as a whole to know?
Ordinary Americans are paying attention. It has been amazing to watch ordinary citizens print off the House Healthcare bill, read it and take it to town hall meetings. This administration has promised transparency, yet the Democrats in the Senate voted against putting the text of their Healthcare bill on the internet. This is an abuse of power and needs to be covered by the press.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to this.