So wrote John Traier, chairman of the Republican Party in Passaic County, New Jersey, in an op-ed about how the GOP at large needs to pitch a bigger tent.
Though he was elected to be chairman for his district and though he devoted countless hours to helping Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign, he still felt his sexuality sidelined him in an increasingly aging party. Others too have felt alienated from the party and their friends alike, he said. And the only way to bring them and others into the fold is to get with the times.
I see no way to be successful without the rebranding of the Republican Party in Passaic County. In fact, our Party needs to be rebranded throughout the entire country… The Republican Party through policy and lack of a cohesive message has left many potential voters on the sidelines and frankly we will never be successful unless we change.
I had advocated and worked for our Republican nominee — Mitt Romney as I felt he would be a more effective President than our current one. At the same time, I felt that I was not welcome in the Republican Party.
As a gay man in a 26 year relationship, I felt that I did not belong in the Republican Party any longer. At a poignant moment during our Transition Team meeting, Rev. Nance told how her friends were annoyed that she was still a Republican and some would not talk to her. I knew exactly how she felt.
We need to make people feel welcome in our party — even if we do not agree on every single issue. This organization needs to be open to new people with new ideas. We have to put the welcome mat out for people who want to be part of a political organization that stands for something important and offers something different than the failed policies of the Democratic party.
Our county is changing on a very rapid basis. Our party in Passaic County and in New Jersey cannot survive unless we open our doors to ALL communities and break through the stereotypes that divide us. We need to work on finding the common ground that unites us, not on what divides us.
Traier of course went on to tout the GOP’s favorite policies, like tax cuts, punishing criminals and “personal responsibility,” ie: no government assistance, and urged his fellow Republicans to form an “activist party.”