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Republican Party Is “Judgmental And Very Self-Righteous” Says Mitt Romney Backer

April 18, 2012

Tom Ridge has some strong words—-accurate ones–in relation to the Republican Party.

Ridge is a now businessman, consultant and philanthropist. Last month he endorsed Mitt Romney for president, but he remained critical of some of his fellow Republicans.

“I think, as a party, we sometimes come across as very judgmental and very self-righteous, and that doesn’t play well to a lot of people,” he said. “Not just on political grounds, but in terms of the culture. We accept diversity in many different ways, and we need to be more clear about that and careful to express that.”

In particular, Ridge urged a more expansive approach to what he termed “the gay community,” noting that increased familiarity with gay people tends to lead to less judgmental politics. “I think that’s the right way to be,” he said. “Younger Americans on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘Live and let live.’ ”

Asked about same-sex marriage, Ridge said he had no particular point of view. “It’s one of those situations where I’d leave it up to the state.”

One Comment
  1. Patrick permalink
    April 18, 2012 6:03 PM

    I think Tom Ridge is right in many ways about the Republican party and his advice for the party. Rightly or wrongly, it is too easy for the left to paint the republicans and the conservative movement as judgemental. If more Republicans and conservatives were to adopt a true “conservative” philosophy which is welcoming to the “gay community,” and other communities, we would find many more supporters for our valid positions on the debt and deficit and Obamacare–the most important issues of our day. Further–as this blog has often pointed out–the wave of history and changing social views need to be given their respect. The next generation of conservatives and republicans, those being educated now, don’t see issues like gay marriage as extremely important. They believe, I think, that a government can function best when it keeps its hands off people’s private lives.

    The other obvious benefit here is that it weakens the already false arguments liberals always use to scare various communities and it allows people to move past the emotional attachment they have to single issues when they would otherwise join a conservative party which seeks to solve problems rather then hide from them. To be short, I imagine that there are thousands and thousands in the gay community who are fiscal hawks and share the views of conservatives on these issues; clinging to “defense of marriage” type positions merely provokes an emotional response and forces people to support liberals out of spite.

    While Romney is not the best politician, I hope he will make a major effort to steer the party in the right directions on these issues. Even picking up a few more percent of the “gay community” vote would be huge. It would go a long way toward that happy day when we don’t have to talk about a “gay community.”

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