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HOW CONSERVATIVE DOES A REPUBLICAN NEED TO BE?

The National Review came out with a stunning cover this week that states "Not Trump". The question this raises is....what does it mean to be a Republican? Does everyone who is a Republican have to believe the same thing? Could this be why our government can't get things done?

Let me give you an example. I'm a Catholic. When I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to have my First Communion in the church along with the other kids. This is because my parents had been "divorced". My mother "divorced" my natural father and my stepfather had been married before as well. As such, they were not allowed to receive communion at that time and could not walk up the aisle with me like the other children in my class. It was 1967. The priest, however, was young and he decided that this wasn't exactly right. I had my own private communion at my Grandparent's house where the priest and a nun came and played the guitar and sang. I became a Catholic for life because of this flexibility. And, like millions of other Catholics in the U.S., I don't follow all of the strict teachings and beliefs of the Church...but it still provides guidance...it's the core.

The same should be true with being a Republican. I believe in my heart and my soul that our government provides too many entitlements and has gotten too big for its britches. I believe that taxes are too high and that we shouldn't punish Americans who have been successful due to hard work. That's how we all grew up....work hard and you will do well. I don't feel that I'm rewarded for that any longer....and I think a lot of other Republicans feel similarly.

I'm not an Evangelical Christian but I respect their rights to believe what they want.   I believe that the Constitution is the governing document and should be adhered to...however, I learned in law school that sometimes what happened in the 1700s doesn't always apply easily to today's problems. I believe in the Second Amendment...but I think there must be some way to prevent looney tunes from getting guns....and I don't support Barack Obama's Executive Orders.

You see, I'm probably a little more towards the middle than some Republicans....but I think we should work together to be able to find a candidate (or a slate of candidates....read The Republican Dream Team of 2016) that can represent many of our different attitudes. A group of smart Republicans...from very conservative to moderate...may be the right solution for our country.

I don't know if Donald Trump is or is not the right Republican to lead us back to a more conservative nation. But, realistically, in order to support all Americans (including Democrats) a President needs to be flexible. The current President has no desire to support my beliefs...and therefore he is not "my" President. I don't remember feeling that way growing up, regardless of who was President. I don't want to exclude people just because they don't 100% support my values.

The National Review needs to realize that Republicans need to be inclusive, not exclusive, if they want a Republican to win the White House in 2016. Their headline excludes lots of existing Republicans as well as Moderate and Independent voters that could help Republicans win the White House in 2016. Why don't they just let the voters decide who the "right" candidate is?

-Catherine McBreen

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