It’s The Grand Old Party: Everybody Should Be Invited

“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” – Ronald Reagan

Reagan-Berlin serious

Not too long ago Cleveland Right to Life broadened the scope of its mission to be opposed to gay marriage. This left me scratching my head. Why would a single issue group chose to narrow the base of its support? If the objective is to prevent abortions, why would it matter if a donor or activist supported gay marriage?

Cleveland hosted the Gay Games last week. The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County had a booth at the Games to welcome attendees and athletes to Cleveland and to also to let them know they are welcome in the Republican Party.

Cleveland Right to Life sent out an email to protest the RPCC’s involvement.

“The not so “Gay Games” have entered their 5th day in downtown Cleveland. Last Sunday the Cuyahoga County Republican Party announced their participation at these sad and melancholy games to show their approval of this lifestyle as part of a supposed “big tent” approach. REALLY! Have they forgotten that with good reason, the majority of Ohio citizens do not approve of or support the homosexual lifestyle?”

You don’t win people over to your cause by ignoring them. You also don’t make new friends by using words that are curt and judgmental. I have friends on both sides of the aisle of the marriage debate.

I understand being for traditional marriage does not define someone as being judgmental. It is possible to oppose gay marriage and still welcome gay conservatives into the party. This email does not accomplish this.

Not only does CRTL oppose gay marriage, but the email states it has a problem with the overall “homosexual lifestyle.” I am a lifelong pro life advocate. I was involved with CRTL. But the tone of that email pushed me to unsubscribe from future emails.  I will likely instead support Ohio Right to Life whose single mission is to save the unborn.  That means more people advocating for life.

If Cleveland Right to Life wants to increase its advocacy for the unborn, it should take a page out of Ronald Reagan’s book and follow his 80/20 rule. Having supporters and elected officials who disagree with you 20% of the time is better than those who disagree with you 80% of the time.

The Gay Games were not a rally for abortion rights. They weren’t a week long gay marriage ceremony. They were a celebration of community and athleticism. And that is exactly where the RPCC should have been to welcome them to the big tent.

It’s a simple realization that you increase your support by welcoming more people.

People from all walks of life can get behind the smaller government principles of the Republican Party. And that is why the Republican Party was right to be at the Gay Games.