Queens GOPers unite under a diverse tent


The following piece was published in Times Ledger in response to the letter by Robert LaRosa, “Why Queens has far more Democrats than GOPers.” We thank the Editor of the Times Ledger newspapers for the opportunities to share our views with their readership!

Queens GOPers unite under a diverse tent

By Phil Orenstein

I write in response to a recent liberal flamethrower who brought up the question, why does Queens have far more Democrats than Republicans. He answers by arguing side issues on climate change, evolution, religious freedom legislation in Indiana, and illegal immigration enforcement in Arizona, in order to distinguish Republican from Democratic views. We can eternally debate these issues, which although important to some, are relatively far down the totem pole on the list of relevance to the vast majority of citizens of Queens, and issues on which not all Republicans concur.

It would be far more productive to hash out the issues of significance to the majority of New Yorkers, especially the taxpayers of Queens whose voices and concerns are largely ignored by our ultra-progressive mayor and City Council. I would like to point out to our detractors who seek to malign the GOP with false stereotypes, that we are not a rigid body of conformists who march in lockstep.  I especially wish to thank them for allowing me to clarify where we stand, because it’s about these real daily life issues that Republicans have the best interest of the citizens of Queens at heart.

The Republican Party here in Queens is a big diverse tent which includes everyone from Rockefeller Republicans to religious Conservatives, drawn from all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions and legal immigrants from every corner of the globe, as well as pro-choice and Log Cabin Republicans.

What unites Republicans is our love for America, our flag, the founding principles of our nation, and our undying support for our soldiers and law enforcement officers both at home and abroad who serve and protect our freedoms. We are autonomous individuals united by the realization that freedom is not free and that we need to fight for it not only abroad but here at home where it is imperiled by errant leaders who do not have the best interests of our country at heart.  We cherish the “spirit of 1776” and do not wish to “transform America.”

What are the specific concerns of the citizens and taxpayers of Queens? I was in a room with South Asian immigrants recently who were asked what were the most pressing issues for them and their families. They replied unanimously, in order of magnitude, that the three most important issues are education, public safely and high taxes.  Global warming was not even mentioned. However, these are the very issues that are neglected and endangered by our current ultra-progressive leadership who are on a social justice crusade to re-engineer our lives, our schools and our neighborhoods to “look like New York” in the words of our mayor. New Yorkers are the highest taxed citizens in the nation according to TaxFoundation.org’s annual survey and dead last in personal and economic freedom according to another survey by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. We Republicans fight on behalf of the majority of the people on these specific issues.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats are well served by a single unaccountable political party which controls nearly every elected office in Queens. It’s corrupt, it’s un-American and it needs to change. With over 50 Democrat congressional, city council, assembly members, and state senators and only one Republican elected official in all of Queens, Councilman Ulrich, all the people of Queens have to suffer the inequities of a one-party system with no checks on abuses of power, corruption and dereliction of duties by those in power.

The people of Queens are called to the task of keeping our system accountable with an equitable balance of power in order to represent the growing needs of the public. We are a Representative Democracy, a government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” in the words of Abraham Lincoln. But with a pathetic voter turnout of 25% where we witnessed 75% of the NYC electorate staying home on Election Day, this is why the city’s leadership does not represent the concerns of New Yorkers.

If you agree with us on the major issues and want to keep NYC the safest and most prosperous large city in America, which was accomplished under Republican leadership starting with Mayor Giuliani, then you are welcome to join your local Republican Club and vote Republican. We have a wonderful new chairman of the Queens County GOP, former Congressman Bob Turner, a fresh new organization, with the unity and determination to provide the true leadership New Yorkers yearn for. After we have achieved a proper balance of power in Queens, we can enjoy a college bull session debating issues of global warming, funding failed programs like Head Start and whether or not the earth is 6000 years old.

Phil Orenstein
Queens Village Republican Club

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