Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Real Pittsburgher?

Earlier this month I blogged about State Representative Michael Diven's jump from the Democrats to the Republican party. I concluded that the Diven move could be a sign of things to come in a liberal city with a untapped conservative element.

This morning, I had the opportunity to hear Mike Diven speak and he essentially confirmed my views on the matter. Diven explained that he has always been a conservative, yet was raised in a Democrat home and knew no other way. He has always held strong pro-life and pro-RKBA views that are more welcome in the Republican party. His short, simple answer when questioned on his Second Amendment stance: "I own an AK-47." (He is also 6'5" tall. There's a mental image to scare off the Left.) He was challenged in his own party's Primary Election race when running for his third term as State Rep last year. One Democrat propaganda piece informed constituents that he voted with Republicans 95% of the time. Is it any wonder he has found a comfortable new home with us? Diven might well echo the sentiment of Ronald Reagan and Zell Miller: He didn't leave the Democrats; the Democrats left him.

In the few weeks since his jump, Mike Diven has heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from constituents in his home neighborhood, the Brookline section of Pittsburgh. Older residents have asked how they too can register as Republicans. Many others have called to cheer him on. Only two negative calls have come in to his office. None of this was much a surprise to him. He has always known that there are many others in the city like him, who share the values of the Republican party. But they register and vote Democrat because they feel that there is no other way to participate in what is basically a one party town.

Pittsburgh does not have to stay that way. If every Pittsburgher with conservative values took the first step and changed registration, the Democratic machine would grind to a halt. The city could have real elections again.

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