12/22/04 — Don’t drift left: Republican Party should stay true to its principles

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Don’t drift left: Republican Party should stay true to its principles

There must be a Democrat whispering into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ear at night.

The California governor told a German newspaper that the Republican Party in the United States should move “a little to the left” on social issues.

Schwarzenegger himself is leftward of most of his fellow Republicans on matters like abortion, gun control and homosexual marriages. His views play well in his own bailiwick, which includes the liberal Hollywood extremists. Moreover, he is married to Maria Shriver, a member of the left-leaning Kennedy clan.

Last week, Schwarzenegger told German’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily that the GOP “currently covers only the spectrum from the right wing to the middle, and the Democratic Party covers the spectrum from the left to the middle. I would like the Republican Party to cross this line, move a little further left and place more weight on the center.”

If it did, he said, “This would immediately give the party 5 percent more votes without it losing anything elsewhere.”

Actually, the party would lose something. It would lose its principles. Schwarzenegger appears willing to trade them for another 5 percent of the voters.

And this at a time when the Republicans have just won astounding victories in a national election — four more years in control of the White House and a sounder majority in Congress — by appealing to the so-called “values voters.” It would be wrong now for Republican leaders to turn their backs on the people to whom morality is the paramount issue.

The Republican leadership should forget Schwarzenegger and remember an old axiom: Dance with the one that brung ya.

Published in Editorials on December 22, 2004 12:27 PM