From the files of “The Republican Party is definitely veering far, far to the right” comes the story of Lora Rae Anderson, the outgoing Chair of the Wisconsin College Republicans.
In a press release issued on April 27, Anderson outlined her discontent with the direction of the Republican Party, noting that in 2008, the Republican Party was happy to announce that they had passed their “most conservative platform ever.” Anderson went on to note:
This might be appealing to current members of the Republican Party but is not appealing to the vast majority of moderate Americans. “The Republican Party is alienating a younger, more progressive generation through its new ‘conservative platform’ which ignores issues such as gay marriage. Marriage, at least as the law would put it, is a civil right. Allowing those people who want to get married to be married is consistent with the Republican Party’s ‘government hand’s off’ platform. This is an area where most College Republicans agree, but for one reason or another, stay quiet and don’t stand up to the older members of our party” said Anderson.
In her press release, Anderson also indicated she would not be renewing her membership in the Republican Party of Wisconsin for 2010, citing an incident in which the Eau Claire County Republican Chairman, Brian Westrate, used “cultural insults and racial slurs” during an argument on Facebook with some of Anderson’s liberal friends.
“Racial slurs obviously don’t sit well with me, but when somebody knowingly racially slurs my friends; I am personally insulted. While being in my position, I didn’t speak out about Westrate’s clear disregard for decency. That decision was wrong, I should have stood up for the parties insulted. Needless to say, I will not be renewing my membership to the Eau Claire County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the year 2010.”
I can’t help but think that as the Republican Party continues its march towards far-right extremism, more and more rational, responsible Republicans will eschew the politics of “negativity and no” in favor of a more traditional (and rational) definition of conservatism.
The fact is, the Republican Party cannot continue to appeal to the lowest common denominator in politics if it hopes to continue to be more than a regional party, and what’s more, it can’t afford to lose moderate young Republicans like Lora Rae Anderson.
EDIT: As The Chief notes, “[i]f Lora Rae Anderson wanted a career in GOP politics — and as state CR chair she was certainly in the fast lane to reach that goal — this is a career suicide note. It’s the kind of principled stand only a young person could accomplish. This type of act took guts, independent of political beliefs or party affiliation.” Truly, Lora Rae Anderson’s actions took guys, and she should be commended for standing up for what she believed to be right.