In light of the new year, it is time for Republicans in the Bay State to make a resolution. They must advance the party brand. Recently, Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party Robert Maginn declared that he would not seek reelection. Since his announcement, several people have expressed interest in succeeding him: Quincy City Councilor Kirsten Hughes, former Deputy Campaign Manager for the Karyn Polito for Treasurer campaign Dean Cavaretta and Chair of the Malden Republican City Committee David D'Arcangelo, who are running in tandem, and finally State Committee Member for the First Middlesex District Rick Green. So, excitement and enthusiasm are clearly there. But, what will ultimately determine the success of the Republican party in this state is the follow-through of not only GOP leadership but also activists.
Words are good, yet actions are invariably better. This truism certainly applies to the increasingly tedious debate over what is the best direction for the party. Discussion about strategy is necessary. It should never take on a paralytic dimension, however. But, in this state, it has. Little significant action has taken place to sell the Republican brand for a period of time that is entirely too long.
The promotion of individual liberty and initiative, limited government, and fiscal responsibility constitute some of the core values of the GOP. Party leadership and activists must spread this aggregate of broadly appealing ideas. Somewhat encouragingly, certain individuals have been proclaiming the need for Republicans to do just that in Boston. Nonetheless, any giddy applause should be held. Praising these people for finally stating the obvious is like celebrating the unfit person’s discovery of the fresh fruit and produce section in the local supermarket.
But, actually establishing a solid Republican presence in the Massachusetts capital will speak to the dearth of Republican candidates in Suffolk County elections. It will equally address the supposed toxicity of the GOP brand. After all, if Republicans present the core values of the party to Bostonians, today’s progressives will have a considerably more difficult time in distorting them. If they stop allowing themselves to speak and act predominantly in reaction to proponents of the progressive agenda, they will be able to play a larger role in framing and setting the topics for discussion. Any headway that is made will undoubtedly impact the rest of the state positively.
Understanding the aforementioned ideas shall ensure some success for the next party chair and Republicanism in general. What will further cement it is a shift in the attitude of some activists. Tolerance for other perspectives is not especially sexy. Along similar lines, being a hero to the cause might not result in celebrity status. However, in light of the enormity of the task of achieving balance in the Bay State political arena, this is how it must be.