The Minnesota Republican Party has gone through some hard times in recent years, but it has rebounded under chairman Keith Downey. Today, Downey had an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that succinctly states the party’s case. While there are a couple of items I might treat a bit differently, it is an excellent example of the message Republicans should be delivering consistently around the country:
On July 4, 1854, a group of Minnesotans calling themselves “friends of freedom” gathered for the first time. They were Whigs and Democrats, opposed to slavery and government corruption, believing that only a new political party could accomplish their aims.
They founded the Republican Party of Minnesota.
Today, 160 years later, Republicans are still on the side of the people. We share the tried and true ethic of everyday folks — family and faith, enterprise and hard work, loving our neighbor and giving back. Simply put, we care.
The party of Lincoln believes every Minnesotan is invaluable. We trust Minnesotans, not bigger government, for our future. And the party of Reagan’s principles of liberty and justice for all and free enterprise have proven to lift everyone. Our ideas work. …
If you are a farmer who can’t afford rising property taxes, an Iron Range family or college student who just needs a good job to flourish, a parent whose child is stuck in a failing school, a veteran without adequate health care, a family child care provider being forced to unionize, a small business struggling with over 20 percent increases in health care costs, a taxpayer wondering why a luxury $90 million Senate office building was a priority, a parent watching everything you need get more expensive, or a family watching the global crisis unfold and feeling nervous about our country’s safety, you see how Democrat leadership is failing you.
Lower- and middle-income people, especially minorities, are worse off since Barack Obama and Al Franken were elected. Women’s median income has dropped, women’s poverty rate has increased, and the number of families on food stamps has risen dramatically.
Now that the Dayton budget has kicked in, private sector job growth dropped alarmingly to a mere 700 jobs per month since January. If you live on the Iron Range or are young or a minority, your unemployment rate is double the rest of the state, or worse. And Minnesota’s underemployment rate is a staggering 50 percent.
All the while, the education achievement gap persists, arguably the defining issue of our time in Minnesota. Republicans are fighting for reforms to help disadvantaged kids succeed in school, while Democrats defend their union-bureaucratic model at all costs, ignoring practices that would actually work for Minnesota’s kids.
Democrats, using their one-party rule, eliminated the basic skills test for teachers, reinstated seniority-only retention rules robbing kids of some of the most effective teachers, and reduced Minnesota’s graduation requirements, creating a false sense of progress. …
If you believe every child deserves a chance, with a successful school and excellent teachers, join us.
If you agree that family budgets should come first before government budgets, and that leaving unsustainable government debt to our kids is immoral, join us.
If you want sensible healthcare reforms that actually reduce cost and improve care, join us.
These are the causes Republicans will lead. We will be on the side of the people with solutions that work. We will bring Minnesotans together to tackle our biggest challenges and advance our state.
And as we have for 160 years, Republicans will stand for what elevates the human condition and allows everyone to realize their God-given liberty and potential in life.
Come join us; we are on your side.