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by Rob Hightower | Riverside With the selection of Barack Obama as president, a new generation of Americans has been introduced to the political scene in America.  With this new movement comes a need to redefine, or rather reinforce, the ideals of the Republican Party. Democrats have long been known to nominate party icons, those that can be held up as shining examples of liberalism at its finest.  Republicans in recent years have mimicked this behavior.  The problem: We are a party of ideas, not people—of principle, not personalities.  During this election we watched in near shock as rank and file Democrats, media elites and left-leaning world citizens praised the Democratic candidate with near religious fervor.  The Democratic Party heralded their nominee as a force of change wrapped in sound bites and high-minded oratory.  Indeed, Obama was chosen to bring all the world’s woes to an end with a wave of his hand.  The Republican Party would be wise to avoid seeking out our own “One,” avoid seeking out that Messianic figure in whom we can place our faith and future.  Rather, we need to take some time to find our core values again, and reinforce what makes us Republicans in the first place, and find our voices once more. We are the party of discipline, socially and economically.  But inherent in this is that we must be disciplined in our message as much as our policies.  In this election cycle, we found ourselves swept in waves of “change”.  Rather than swim through the wave, we fought the tides, and lost.  Voters sent the Republican Party a clear message: they are no longer interested in the politics of self-interest and are ready for change. Obama and the Democrats exploited the message of “change” that our country sought, however this nation is still conservative, voters still want lower taxes, less spending, and ethical lawmakers. The problem was simply that voters didn’t trust us to carry their values to the executive and legislative branches of power across the country.  They saw us as an echo—not a choice. We fooled ourselves into believing that government could be the solution.  This is not us. Our problem was not our views, but our message and messengers.  Voters did not return a complete referendum on Republican views, but on Republican officials.  The victory of conservative principles is evident in the passage of California’s Prop 8, the constitutional amendment that defined marriage as strictly between a man and a woman. Conservatives, true conservatives, are for personal responsibility, both at home and in business.  Voters are clearly angry that irresponsible corporate greed that was fostered under the Clinton administration and nurtured during the Bush years has lead to economic crises.  What truly has them enraged, though, is the enormity of the bailouts that continue to be pushed through Washington and are being forced onto Main Street.  To so blatantly endorse government intervention in the private sector served only to further voter alienation and reinforce the notion that Republicans are merely out to be the party of intrusive government—never able to stay out of an issue and always looking to tighten the grip of power.  This has come to show Republicans as apt to betray their core values once the lure of power becomes too strong to ignore. We must show that we are here to serve all Americans, to ensure that while we will protect them and their freedom, it is up to them to properly manage their lives, and we will stay out of it. We are for life—at all stages. This is not a bumper sticker phrase, this is fact and must be recognized as such.  It is not simply religious, but fundamental humanity that dictates the protection of life.  Laws to protect people from harm should be common sense. It is an undeniable fact that life is sacred.  Under that same notion, it is inherent that we must never take the life of the unborn under any circumstances.  We can never relent in our vigorous pursuit of safety in America.  Violence is rampant nationwide and most trends do not suggest that it will curb anytime soon.  Proper laws that aid in public safety are key, and that includes common sense legislation that allow those who are so inclined to own a weapon and be free to use it in self-defense. Ultimately, we must embrace the fact that we are not simply a party of faith, but a nation of faith.  This is not to say that government must be intertwined with Christianity or any other religious institution, but the voices of the faithful in this nation should never again be ignored or silenced during an election.  While hindsight is 20/20, it still must be acknowledged that those who count themselves among the faithful should not have been cast aside as they were in this election, and doing so seriously affected its outcome.  We are not a Godless nation and should not aspire to become one.  The former Soviet Union, China, North Korea, these nations have cast faith out of their midst and in doing so also opened the door for other freedoms to be quashed, and the same should never be acceptable here. Yes, we lost badly in this past election.  But it has come and gone and we will remain steadfast in our beliefs, we will continue to fight for what we believe and will continue to serve in whatever capacity we can.  As Republicans, as conservatives, as Americans, we must look to the future and continue our quest toward greatness.  We’ve experienced setback before and overcome, and we will do so again. We will find our red voices again, we will take back our country, and we will succeed.  It will be trying, but we have faith in the people, faith in our country, and faith in God to see us through. “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled…” (Psalm 46: 2-3.) CRO Rob Hightower currently serves as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting sexual offenders and child abusers. He previously served as a Legislative Aid for two Members of the State Assembly.  In 2008, he served as the Inland Empire Regional Chair for the McCain/Palin 2008 presidential ticket.  He grew up and still lives in Riverside County.  He can be reached via e-mail at rhlaw2006@hotmail.com

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