The Ripon Forum

Volume 52, No. 6

December 2018

In this edition

By on December 17, 2018

First, John McCain. Now, George H.W. Bush.

For the second time in a year, a giant has been taken from the American political scene. As with the passing of Senator McCain on August 25th, the passing of President Bush on November 30th represents the end of an era – the passing of a generation of leaders who were tempered by war and who helped shape the peace.

Both put service to others above all other virtues in life. Both led by example. And both put country ahead of party – and ahead of self – in confronting the top issues and challenges of the day. And if John McCain with his fiery streak of independence reminded us why courage is an essential ingredient of politics and public life, George H.W. Bush with his quiet strength and generosity reminded us why kindness matters in these noble pursuits, as well.

The Ripon Forum was honored to feature both of these leaders in our pages over the years. As we did with Senator McCain in our September edition, we honor President Bush in this edition by republishing an interview he gave to our journal in September of 1990. It is a small tribute to a great man, and one which we hope our readers will find inspiration from today, as we bring 2018 to a close.

As we look to the new year, the Forum has decided to look “Beyond the Beltway” for perspective on some of the key challenges America – and the GOP – will face in 2019. This is a critical year for both the party and the country. House Republicans are coming off a 40-seat loss in the general election. At the same time, job creation is up and unemployment is near a record low. The cross currents of American politics have never been greater. And through it all, the American people are demanding results.

To that end, we reached out to GOP leaders around the country and asked them a simple question: “What would you like to see from Washington in the coming year?” We feature 12 leaders in this current edition – state and local officials who not only represent the grassroots of the party, but are key to its future success. As President Bush said in our 1990 interview with him, “A political party is like a choir because it needs two things: a single songbook – and lots of different voices.” These are some of those voices, and we are proud to provide them this forum in which they can be heard.

Moving forward, we are planning to seek out and feature the voices of other GOP leaders from around the country in 2019. If you know of a state or local leader with a compelling vision, platform, or point of view about the future of the party or the issues of the day, please let us know.

And as with all of our editions, we appreciate your readership, and welcome any comments you may have.

Lou Zickar
Editor of The Ripon Forum

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