On Tuesday, the Republican convention in Tampa will kick off and the eyes of the country and the world will be watching. It’s an opportunity for the Republican party to explain why it deserves to be back in power during these tenuous times. Clearly, there is no way the Republican party can wrest power from President Obama and the Democrats if they preach a message of hate and separation. For too long now, the party of the Elephant has been controlled by a group of crazy religious ideologues and I don’t use the term crazy, lightly. The last Republican President, George Bush won re-election because with the attack on 9-11, there were many who were afraid to change direction. Now, four years in to the Obama administration, despite high unemployment, the Republicans must offer a plan that will convince any undecided voters to once again change direction. There are some clear-cut issues like healthcare and the economy which should be a rallying cry of the party. But if the convention loses focus and becomes a religious, ideological rant against abortion and gay marriage, all will be lost on November 6th. It’s that plain and simple. The country is changing and the party must change with it or be in danger of becoming obsolete. I’m not saying the party should adopt a platform embracing gay marriage and abortion rights, which won’t happen, but these issues shouldn’t be the central focus at the convention. Republicans can’t claim to be against big government on the one hand and then charge the government with endorsing and enforcing anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage policies. Either you want to reduce the size of government or you don’t. The party can’t pick and chose where it thinks government should be involved in our lives and expect to have any credibility. Tuesday we will witness for ourselves, the direction of the convention and the Party. But one thing is for sure, there is much riding on this convention and if it comes across as regressive, President Obama will be celebrating his re-election on November 6th.