In the past I have referred to myself here on this blog as a "Main Street Republican." I had read that appellation elsewhere, and to me it meant that I came not from the country club set or any other elite group, but from that plucky group in U.S. society that went to church, played by the rules, and stood for solid conservative American values.
Main Street Republicans, to me, are the folks that wore overalls to work, or who worked in small businesses, or as blue- or white-collar workers; who voted for Eisenhower, Nixon, Goldwater, Nixon again, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole and Bush. Regular Republicans, you might call them-- thoughtful, hard-working patriotic people who believed in personal responsibility, distrusted big government and big institutions generally, thought taxes and government should be small and national security maintained. These folks became natural Reagan Republicans when the Gipper ran in 1980.
Now, to my horror, I find that the name "Main Street Republicans" has been appropriated by an entirely different group of Republicans calling themselves the Republican Main Street Partnership. The group's stated goal is "to further a centrist, pragmatic Republican agenda-- one that could accommodate bipartisan legislative results. . . . and "craft a moderate Republican agenda with a fiscally conservative background." Tellingly, the group says it was formed as a way to offer a counter-weight to the Contract with America in 1994. You can read about the Mains Street Republicans here. I should have known about this group; I guess I need to get out more.
The sole purpose of this post is to make it clear that I say I am a Main Street Republican, that means I am trying to be one of the folk I describe above, not those of the Republican Main Street Partnership. That group certainly has the right to press its agenda, but I don't think that agenda is the stuff of a winning long-term strategy. Most of all, I don't want to be a counter-weight to the Contract with America-- I want the Contract to continue!
So if any of you were confused by my prior statements, don't be. Main Street Republicans are not moderates and are not a faction of the party-- they're the party's vital core.