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Thoughts on the 2012 GOP leadership strategy

As a former Eisenhower Republican who went door-to-door in Manhattan for Ike in both 1952 and 1956, I was pleasantly surprised recently to receive in the mail a “2012 Presidential Leadership Survey” sent by the current Republican National Committee. It is always interesting to know what, if anything, voters are thinking. It provides food for thought.The first page of the survey questionnaire is devoted to personal matters which I found to be fairly straight-forward: Age group over 66. Still married. Home owner (with no mortgage and no impending foreclosure that I’m aware of). That sort of thing. Then the survey turns to more political matters requiring considerably more thought.First off: “How important is exposing Obama’s radical left-wing policies?” Well, very important, obviously, or they wouldn’t have asked the question that way. But wait a minute. Some of my best friends are left-wing radicals, and they tell me Obama is too far to the right. Which is right? What is left? As Groucho Marx famously put it: “Who do you believe — me or your own eyes?”Next: “How important is repealing Obamacare?” Just using the term “Obamacare” should be answer enough. Obviously, the health reform bill must have been concocted in some foreign country like Switzerland or Kenya. But seriously, how could Teddy Roosevelt and Ike Eisenhower of all people, both patriotic Americans, have possibly envisaged something so conceivably similar to “Obamacare” for our nation? It boggles the mind! It makes you think.Then come fiscal and economic issues: “Do you support Obama’s re-election fight to increase taxes on those he considers to be wealthy?” Well, who does he consider to be wealthy? Not me, I hope. That’s why you see in the pages of The Lakeville Journal that I always focus on the “super wealthy,” and favor trickle down policies for everyone else. Besides, since when does the president decide who is wealthy? That’s intervention by Big Government, and we don’t need it. On entitlement spending the question is, would I support phased-in loss of Social Security benefits and Medicare coverage for future retirees or anyone now not over the age of 50? Yes, of course. I’m retired and over the age of 50. Any sacrifice to help lower government spending and reduce the national debt is fine by me. Right?Under national security issues, the survey asks whether the Obama administration’s “lack of leadership in foreign policy” and his “strategy of treating all countries as equals to the United States” have hurt our country and weakened our international standing? Stated that way, how could it be otherwise? Like you, I’m a strong believer in “leadership.” Some of us are born to lead, others not. Same for countries. In the pages of The Lakeville Journal I often say, “Put America first.” So, that should answer both questions.Then the survey contains some tough “Values issues.” For example: “Do you support the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade ?” But the phraseology of the question is confusing. Didn’t the court pass it in the first place? No matter. Any court capable of deciding Citizens United the way it did must be beyond reproach, and get my vote, right? I support the U.S. Supreme Court whatever.As to the 2012 campaign strategy, here’s the hot question: “Should the Republican Party only support candidates who adhere to our conservative principles and unwavering defense of our constitutional freedoms?” Let’s get real about this. Personally, I would never support a candidate who was a born terrorist or an extremist bent on revolution and destroying our Constitution. In this respect, I tend to vote conservative. Have I given the right answers so far ?Thanks to the “2012 Presidential Leadership Survey,” we can gain an important insight into how some people think. (Note that this thoughtful column is actually titled “Insight.”) How people think, however, can be quite confusing. Not everyone thinks the same thing, I don’t think. Some think more, or less. But what worries me most about all this is that I don’t think Theodore Roosevelt or Dwight D. Eisenhower would think that way, either. What would they think? What do you think? Do you think the current GOP is still the “Grand Old Party”? I wish it were. Sharon resident Anthony Piel is a former director and general legal counsel of the World Health Organization.

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