by Lunell Haught & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & 'm a Republican because my dad and mom were, their parents were, and I suppose that takes us back to Lincoln. Fourth Generation. Several of my family members have served in public office. I am also a Republican because, as an independent thinking adult, I liked the way Republicans addressed problems, not with rules and regulations and central government, but with an approach that valued the creative capability of humans; the importance of being strong, and able to take care of oneself.

This independent spirit meant we were fiscally responsible, we paid as we went along, didn't live above our means and we didn't mortgage our own or our children's future. We invested in our society by making sure everyone had access to education; we thought it was a local responsibility.

We didn't mind paying taxes because we believed if the government was small and effective, it would support a society in which all individuals could thrive and they wouldn't need government support.

We thought Teddy Roosevelt was a hero for the parks, Lincoln for abolition and we even liked Nixon's clean air and water.

And we weren't scaredy-cats. We didn't hide behind central government search-and-spy programs to give the illusion of safety. We didn't think the government had any business in our bank accounts or our bedrooms. Many of us thought personal liberty was more important than personal property. I miss the party's support of conservation and fiscal responsibility. Most of all I miss the focus on good public policy.

Now the focus just seems to be on winning. Winning what? To do what? I wonder how we can be secure as a nation without serious dialogue about who we are and what we're doing. Without self-reflection, there isn't a mechanism to self-correct, and I think the party would benefit from some correction. Dialogue and inquiry seems like a better route than challenging people's loyalty if they question anything.

Yes, I miss a lot about the Republican party.

Lunell Haught is a Washington state board member of the Republicans for Environmental Protection and a member of the Ponderosa Republican Women's Club. She lives in Spokane.

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