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COMMENTARY: Massachusetts GOP Must Change


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Editor’s note :  The author is the First  Middlesex District’s, Representative to The Massachusetts Republican State Committee.  This district encompasses the town of Westford.

 The Massachusetts  Republican State Committee met last week in Newton to review the results of the November election.  The results were devastating.  While Governor Baker was able to retain the Governor’s office, his legislative support was reduced, and all other Republican state wide candidates went down to defeat.

As the autopsy results were reviewed and debated, a discussion about future direction emerged. It became quite clear that deep divisions exist. One faction are the political self-seekers, grasping tightly to the Governor’s coat-tails for state appointments and contracts. The other are the one-issue advocates, who are either too afraid or self-righteous to compromise for the greater good of the party.  The situation is a recipe for continued failure.

The reason that Massachusetts is the bluest of blue states, is not because there is something in the water that tilts political views to the left. It is because the Massachusetts Republican party has either been unable or unwilling to present a sustained and effective challenge to the political narrative expounded by Massachusetts Democrats.

Central to this problem is their failure to formulate a unified message. The key to survival is to become the party of working people.  Any person who has to wake up and go to work each day to put food on the table, or a roof over their heads, must come to see the Republican party as their voice.  As the Democrats become more special interest oriented and increasingly ideological, they are ceding this constituency. Republicans must fill the void. This will require a commitment to campaign 365 days a year, with a primary focus on retaking the legislature. It will be a slow and arduous process but the issues are there.

Government corruption, a failing transportation system, the shortage of housing, the need to preserve quality education, equitable distribution of state aid and the development of a sustainable health care system, that preserves quality and choice are the issues that working people care about.  These are the issues that can keep the Mass GOP in the political game, if they are willing to embrace them.  For the sake of democracy in this state, let’s hope that they do.

Dennis Galvin is a Westford resident.