"A Small GOP" (op-ed, Jan. 26) is correct that James Bopp and others are wrong to have a litmus test that includes "10 conservative principles." The problem is that most of the items on his list are not principles. A troop surge is not a principle, and neither is cap and trade, nor most of the others. These are policy differences. The kind of government a political party stands for is a principle.
If you stand for the principle that a large central government is a tool that will solve your problems, such as health care, poverty, racism, etc., and that will result in an egalitarian society, then you are a liberal. If you stand for the principle of a limited central government that will result in lower taxes, individual responsibility and a meritocratic society, then you are a conservative. Policy issues like abortion, gay rights and the environment have nothing to do with these principles.
It seems to me that it is proper to have a litmus test for the Republican Party, but it should be narrowed to the one conservative principle, and by focusing on this one principle, the Republican Party will allow a "big tent" of broad diverse policy differences.
Robert S. Sargent, Jr.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Very good letter in the Wall Street Journal:
F. at 8:07 AM