1) So long as it's in the opposition, where should the Republican Party focus its energy?
Not on Dems because they are damaging themselves. Rather offer a compelling message of hope and a plan of action that incorporate conservative values.
2) What is the most worrisome part of Barack Obama's presidency?
Not one but three. 1) violation of constitution; 2) weakening of national defense and a pandering form of foreign relations; 3) torpedoing the national economy in order to enhance the control by big government.
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?
Put them in their place by subordinating them to a cadre of true Republicans Leaders. True Leadership should speak for and be the face of Republicanism with the 'boys" as cheerleaders.
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?
Race is NOT and issue ideology is the issue. Race is used as a weapon by those who have no other great ideas, policies or plans. When the race card is played it is intended as the TRUMP card when it is really a deuce in a minor suit.
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.
Conservatives values does not receive adequate attention by either party. Gop seems to be reluctant to speak of them and DEMS denigrate them. Effective trumpeting of these values and how they pertain to daily issues will in fact resonate with the Independents and most Republicans, discounting the single-issue idealogues.
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?
The GOP should focus on the 60% of the voter base that is center and mainstream. Do not focus on or be hijacked by the fringe groups. There is enough within the conservative principles to engage the bulk of voters if communicated and apllied vigorously, frequently and consistently.
7) Is there anything I didn't ask about that you'd like the media or the country as a whole to know?
Don't be dogmatic; don't be flaky; don't be arrogant and bull-headed-- teh Dems have cornered this market. Be attentive, accountable, offer hope and positive action(behavior not just words). With the DEMS imploding and creating the problems, let's offer the solutions.
Larry Toney, Chair
Pickens County Republican Party
Best wishes for much success with thios undertaking!