Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Think I Found The Elephants In The Room

Photo by Sean M. Teaford

As soon as I walked into the Radnor Hotel and checked in at the desk to get my name tag I was immediately welcomed not simply as a member but as a friend. I had been looking forward to last night’s Commonwealth Club event for months as it was not only a chance to meet Governor Corbett but also to catch up with my fellow members that I only have the opportunity to see every once in a while. It is indeed a great group of people with whom I share many common interests and points of view. I was also struck with a great sense of irony that I was attending this event the week after visiting Gettysburg because, as you may recall, this is the Party of Lincoln.

For many, those viewpoints are not at all agreeable but, for me, they are in sync with my point of view both personally and politically. You see, these events are not about trying to find the elephant in the room because we are a room full of elephants. In case that wasn’t clear enough let me put it simply, this was a meeting of contributors to the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. While the financial contributions vary greatly among the attendees we are all proud supporters of our party.

As someone who spent many years affiliated with the Democratic Party, I can say from personal experience that, contrary to coverage that you may read in the media, this is the party of change. I have had greater accessibility, more level headed discussions, and seen more diversity in local candidates in this party than I did in my previous youthful years. This is the change that I had always been looking for.

In my experience, you can go to just about any political event around, regardless of party, and hear someone speak about their positions I have experienced a greater prevalence of one on one discussion in this party as I did with Governor Corbett last night. Everyone’s voice was heard regardless of positions held or the kind and level of support they have dedicated to the party. We may differ in some of our views, in what we think are high priorities and what are not, and sometimes what may be the best solution to a problem but, in the end, we are all have an equal voice in our party.   

Photo by Richard M. Trivane

While I will not discuss specifics on this blog as I do not speak for the Governor, the Commonwealth Club, or the Republican Party in general and I do not pretend to do so I will say that a large variety of topics were covered including (but not limited to) education (both students and teachers), pension reform, economic issues, natural gas, the job market, the state budget, and taxes. Finally, I will leave you with this final aspect about the event last night in that while numerous issues and topics were discussed and certain stances on current events were mentioned at no point was any person or politician attacked. Even in a room full of supporters both of the party and of the Governor, and during a time when he will soon begin his re-election campaign, no negative rhetoric was heard coming from the Governor.

This is the party of unity and change not of partisan segregation and recycled polities. This is the party of the future not of immediate gratification. This is the party of discussion not of accusation. This is the party of common sense and reasonable solutions not of over accommodation and knee jerk reactions. This is not the ‘grand old party’, this is my party.