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Missing: my Republican party. Please help me find it.

I have been a life-long Republican (I first voted in 1968), but lately I seem to have lost my party, and I’m hoping you can help me find it. Let me describe it for you.

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum attends a tea party Rally Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

John Gurzinski/AP Photo

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I have been a life-long Republican (I first voted in 1968), but lately I seem to have lost my party, and I’m hoping you can help me find it. Let me describe it for you.

I am looking for a Republican party that has the intelligence to know the difference between the firm foundation of a political philosophy and the straitjacket of a rigid ideology. 

I am looking for a Republican party that has enough humility to recognize that good ideas sometimes come from others (Democrats!). We used to work across the aisle and craft useful bipartisan legislation. Yet what we hear on the campaign trail this year is that nearly everything that President Obama has done or proposed is seriously misguided, if not fundamentally wrong.

I am looking for a Republican party that understands the true meaning of our federalist system of government. While the federal government should not be an intrusive leviathan, and should be streamlined to be as efficient as possible, it has an important role to play in providing the infrastructure necessary for economic growth. (Think Abraham Lincoln and the transcontinental railroad or the land grant colleges).

Equally important, it has a role in creating the social infrastructure that enables people to prosper. One may debate the depth and breadth of that role, and what that social infrastructure should look like, but no matter how you slice it, government still has a that role to play.

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