Jennifer Horn in today's Union Leader: The Next GOP Chairman Must Respect 'We the People'

From Today's Union Leader

by Jennifer Horn

NH Republican Party needs an activist leader: the next GOP Chairman must respect 'We the People'

O N NOV. 2, voters across New Hampshire turned the Granite State into an island of red in a sea of New England Democratic blue. At every level of government, Republicans earned huge wins, including a veto-proof majority in Concord and every available federal seat.

There were a lot of changes that contributed to those wins, both here at home and across the country: an electorate that was generally disappointed in "hope and change," a stronger, more organized Republican effort, and most of all, a dramatic increase in citizen participation in the democratic process.

Make no mistake, it was "we the people" that was the deciding factor in these elections. It was the combination of efforts of longtime GOP activists, new Republicans
and liberty Republicans, and it would be arrogant and selfdestructive for the winning politicians and the leadership of the party to believe otherwise.

As the Republican Party prepares to select a new leader, it is important to remember that "the party" is not an inanimate object, a prize on the shelf waiting to be passed down. The party is a living, breathing, everchanging organization of real people who have dedicated enormous sums of personal time, energy and hard-earned dollars to further a cause they believe to be for the greater

The idea that we have to protect against allowing the activists to take over the party is ridiculous. The activists - the people - are the party. We must elect a chairman who respects that and will provide an articulate voice to the Republican message, one who will unite the many arms of activists who have come to the table, and one who understands that like all living things, "the party" can only grow from the ground up.

Raising the funds necessary to support the committee's responsibilities is also a priority. The next chairman must assemble a strong finance committee and coordinate an effort that encompasses traditional givers, the help of our federal delegation and brings new support to the endeavor at the same time.

There will be many dedicated
to this effort because they recognize the cause is right. It is insulting to suggest that any of these people would withhold their support from the cause based on the selection of chairman.

There is no question, in my mind, that the Republican Party is best equipped to lead us through the next decade as we confront some of the greatest challenges of our time. Putting Americans back to work, balancing our state budget, eliminating the $13-trillion federal debt and securing our nation against all threats are challenges that we must overcome without assaulting the Bill of Rights and trampling on the liberties of our citizens.

We must stand firm on the principles of limited government and personal responsibility, and provide the leadership to move our
nation forward.

The Republican Party was founded in the fight to abolish slavery; it was Republicans who stood by women early in the last century as they demanded their right to vote; and it was a Republican Congress that fought for and finally passed civil rights legislation in the '60s.

It is this Republican Party that must reemerge today, a party that gives voice to
the people by standing on the founding principles, a party dedicated to preserving freedom and an America of unlimited opportunity.

Above all, we must have a chairman who recognizes that the party's purpose is to serve the people, for if it does not, it will serve no purpose at all.


Jennifer Horn is a former radio talk show host in Nashua and was a Republican nominee for Congress in the 2nd District.