the Los Angeles Times, in which he says:
The GOP's history is filled with leaders who rejected ideology in favor of seeking solutions.
Teddy Roosevelt is still a hero among environmentalists for his conservationist policies. Dwight Eisenhower believed in the value of investing in infrastructure, and we can thank him for our highway system. Nixon, who originally attracted me to the party, nearly passed universal healthcare. He also created the national Environmental Protection Agency, which some modern Republicans want to close down.
Being a Republican used to mean finding solutions for the American people that worked for everyone. It used to mean having big ideas that moved the country forward.
It can mean that again, but big ideas don't often come from small tents.
It's time to stop thinking of the Republican Party as an exclusive club where your ideological card is checked at the door, and start thinking about how we can attract more solution-based leaders.
I am not a Republican (and have never voted for a Republican), but Schwarzenegger is right. The Republican Party has had some leaders in the past of which they can justifiably be proud -- men like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower. And yes, once you get past his criminal tendencies, even Richard Nixon did some good things -- like opening the door to a normal relationship with China and the creation of the EPA.
But those days, when party leaders were able to work with Democrats and compromise for the good of the country, are long gone. There is no longer any room for moderation or compromise in the Republican Party. The party has moved far to the right, and replaced love of country with love for their own ideology -- an ideology that is making it clear that there is no place in the party for minorities, immigrants, homosexuals, poor people, the working class, young people, and women. All you have to do is look at their current policies to know that.
While the Democrats are trying to build on their "big tent", and add even more people to that tent, the Republicans are busy kicking people out of their tent (those not ideologically "pure"). As Schwarzenegger says, that tent has now become very small. But while it is small, it is also opulent, because it was built to house only rich white men (the only people favored by their policies). They may let the teabaggers peek inside every two years (to keep their votes), but only the rich are allowed to stay in there.