1) So long as it's in the opposition, where should the Republican Party focus its energy?
“Bring Jobs Back to the USA”. The Republican Party should focus its energy on jobs for Americans. Not more government jobs, but tax incentives for corporations to bring manufacturing back to the USA. Relax prohibitive environmental restrictions so Americans can compete in global marketplace. Tax incentives for small businesses. Americans want to work and want to buy labels “made in USA”.
2) What is the most worrisome part of Barack Obama's presidency?
The most worrisome part of Obama’s presidency is the accelerated government takeover of corporations, banks, appointing czars and liaisons with labor unions. It appears the president is preparing to become dictator.
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?
Talk radio and cable news hosts must be granted complete freedom of speech. The Republican Party as an entity should not react, that means that Michael Steele, Chairman of Republican Party should not react to media. Be proactive, not reactive. Individuals who happen to be Republicans may react at their discretion. It’s called freedom of speech.
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 hope that the Republican Party will do more to include the Asian and Hispanic community who, generally, share Republican beliefs of family values and individual freedom. Do not respond to democratic “race card” tactics.
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.
Women I talk with are critical of Congress. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have not represented the American people prudently. Energy crisis, jobs going abroad, illegal aliens, healthcare…all issues that have been ignored for twenty years until it has finally broken…what you resist will persist. They feel like they have lost their voice. Grassroots efforts are critical in informing local voters about what is being done and what they can do.
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?
Yes, this is a viable alliance for the future of the Republican Party. Sarah Palin has done more to generate energy in the Republican Party than any other person since Ronald Reagan. It is too early to talk about the presidency, but the Republican Party would benefit by having her as its spokesperson along with Michael Steele. As a team, they could quickly unite the GOP and Independents. It is time for the Republican Party to go on the offensive and stop graveling. It could go a long way in uniting the Republican Party.
7) Is there anything I didn't ask about that you'd like the media or the country as a whole to know?
Yes, medical expenses are crippling the working poor. Government programs are not the answer. I would like to see some leadership from Republican legislators to create a forum and invite all levels of medical care providers to solve their own problem. Let “them” come up with insurance proposals, healthcare delivery systems, affordable drug programs, long time care and catastrophic illness care and present corporate sector solutions. Tort reform is a major issue and must be addressed. I know it is complex, but it can be done without government intervention.
Doug and Brenda Rogers