"My Republican Party!"
I was born in 1972. I have some vague memories of President Carter. I remember on TV the long lines of Americans out of work seeking welfare. I remember my friend Kim who's Daddy was "laid off," and she told me her Mom cried because they had to seek food assistance. I was scared. I didn't understand what was happening to our country, but I understood that things were bad.
After Ronald Reagan was elected President, optimism and hope reached right down into the world of a nine year old girl - me. I was the age my oldest son is now. My mother and father were so proud of Mr. Reagan. He was brave and stood firm on what really mattered to them: Jobs and Safety at home in America from our enemies abroad. My calling to put on the uniform was born in the early 1980s - a calling I answered in 1998 when I joined the United States Air Force.
I was seventeen in 1989, when President Reagan completed his second term. Reaganomics had made America rich. American wealth and escalating the arms race imploded the Soviet Union. President Reagan seemed touched by the Almighty having survived an assassination attempt. Optimism was high. The Republican Party was MY party.
The Madison County Republican Executive Committee this week voted to censure me for my position on the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.
My record is clear on this issue, and it's not complicated. I simply don't believe, as some do, that the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards or the Common Core State Standards are a giant government conspiracy to control and socially engineer American school children. You can read the standards for yourself at the Alabama Department of Education's website, and you will find good, high quality standards in English and Math that will better prepare students for college and/or a career.
The Alabama Republican Party is taking up a resolution to censure and remove steering committee members who don't 100% toe the party line. I'm opposed to this. This is not the Reagan Republican Party that I signed up for.
Could "Big Tent" Ronald Reagan, who believed in compromise - he of the "if you agree with me 80 percent of the time, you're an 80 percent friend and not a 20 percent enemy" philosophy - survive in today's all-or-nothing atmosphere? Is Reagan's 11th Commandment gone?
I still believe in the Republican Party, and I will not abandon it. I will join with those whose belief system will NEVER include censure. We can agree to disagree on some issues, but we will not fall away from those core beliefs - Jobs, National Defense, Smaller Government, Reducing Debt, Reducing Entitlements, and Strong Public Education!
MARY SCOTT HUNTER
Representative-Alabama Board of Education