Jennifer Horn: Squishy Republicans are Almost as Bad as Democrats

In the special congressional election in New York's 23rd District, the liberal Republican dropped out last week, leaving the Democrat to face a Conservative Party challenger backed by Sarah Palin and other notable conservatives. It sends a powerful message: Those who believe that 2010 will be a typical mid-term election year in which the minority party sweeps to victory are sadly disconnected from the voters. Republicans are tired of having to plug their noses when they vote; independents are frustrated by a lack of real choice; and even many Democrats feel betrayed by a party that  is leading our country down a perilous path.
While the Democratic leadership in Congress is responsible for the debacle we face today, Republicans of past majorities must also take responsibility for the role they played in opening the door to a government that is too big, too intrusive and too expensive.
Somewhere along the way, we started thinking that the way to win elections in New England was to sound like a Democrat. We abandoned our principles and embraced big-government and big-spending policies. As a result, Republicans were fired in 2006.
And now Americans are paying the price. Socialized medicine, nationalized banks  and government-owned auto companies are not the America we grew up in, and it is not the America we want to pass down to our children.
The American birthright of unlimited opportunity will be destroyed by jobs-crushing policies such as cap-and-trade and by costly government expansion such as the health care reform bill. The further into our lives we allow government to creep, the more opportunity becomes limited and the more our freedom and individual liberties are diminished.
While concern for all of these issues is at an all-time high, above all of them  is an overriding frustration and anger directed at an arrogant, corrupt Congress that has blatantly put party and power above the people and the Constitution. This, more than anything else, is what has inspired the people of our country over the past several months to rise up in protest against what is supposed to be a representative government.
The people are making their voices heard, sending a resounding message that they will not tolerate self-serving, big-government, free-spending politicians, and  they will not waste any more votes on them. It is time to defend our rights as citizens of a free nation, time to rein in an out-of-control Congress and time to hold our elected representatives accountable for their destructive actions.
We have two paths before us. We can go back to nominating Republicans who sound  like Democrats and hope that by blurring the lines between the two parties, the  voters will choose us. Or, we can stand firmly for the principles that make our  nation strong and offer the voters a real choice.
We've tried the first way, and we saw our party lose election after election in  the Northeast, and the country suffer as a result. This summer, citizens tried the second way, and they started a revolution.
If the Republican Party is to be the voice of tomorrow, it must return to its roots.
The principles of personal freedom, unlimited opportunity and small, limited government are the path to a free and prosperous tomorrow.
We must stand together and be deafening in our message that we will not allow this Congress to continue its march toward an America that would make our Founding Fathers cry.
We live in a great nation. America is a nation of grand dreams, great efforts and extraordinary achievement. We require bold leaders who embrace the unlimited potential of our nation to grow in prosperity and accomplishment and remain forever a beacon of hope to freedom-seeking people everywhere.
Jennifer Horn, a former newspaper columnist and radio talk show host from Nashua, is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in New Hampshire's 2nd District.