The National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] pauses today, January 16, 2012 to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - one of America's greatest leaders.
Often as a party, we boast about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his father, Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. being Republicans. Back in the day when those of color felt a kinship and could identify with the 11 original core values of the Republican Party, yes it is true - they were Republicans. They were proud to wear the Republican label because of these 11 Republican Cores Values.
1. That the right of the individual to achieve the best that is within him, as long as he respects the rights of others, is the source of our nation's strength.
2. That government exists to protect the freedom of opportunity in which each individual's creative ability can flourish.
3. That government activities should be limited to those things which people cannot do at all, or cannot do so well for themselves.
4. That the most effective government is government closest to the people.
5. That those who cannot provide for themselves should be assisted by both government and society, but that every effort should be made to help them become self-supporting, productive citizens with pride in their independence.
6. That equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity belong to all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex, or national origin.
7. That the preservation of our nation and the security of our citizens depend upon the Constitution, the laws and the courts, and that respect for these, is the responsibility of every individual.
8. That government is accountable for maintaining sound money and a responsible economy. Individual rights, liberties and properties are continually eroded when citizens are oppressed by excessive taxation, inflation, government waste and over regulation.
9. That government is responsible for national defense and that only a strong America can remain a free America.
10. That it is absolutely essential to maintain a strong national defense posture in order that we may at all times negotiate from a position of strength, not weakness, in our continuing efforts towards world peace and friendship.
11. That these concepts are the foundation of our national strength and that the Republican Party, which is committed to their preservation, is the Party of today, and the Party for the Future.
Just as Dr. King had a dream, these 11 core values are the embodiment of the dream of our Grand Ole Party. They are the true core values of the Republican Party - "the foundation of our national strength" - values of which we should be "committed to their preservation", so that the Republican Party remains relevant and "is the Party of today, and the Party for the Future". They are the values which drew African American Republicans of yesteryear that included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. into the Republican Party.
They are core values that attracted the membership of the NRAAC to join the ranks of the GOP. They also are the same values with which not only many African Americans can align, but also many other Americans, regardless of race or political affiliation.
While we celebrate Dr. King's dream today, as a party, we also have to retrieve and revive our own dream. We cannot allow these precious core values to become lost or caught up in the political rhetoric of today's political landscape - where very few even know they exist and are the foundation of the Republican Party.
In 2012, we too have a dream, and that dream is to be true to our core values - values worthy enough to be built into the foundation of our Grand Ole Party - values worth preserving in order to make us "the Party of today, and the Party for the Future".