This is Not My Republican Party
Steve Skeldon

Firstly, I appreciate the tone of the piece: conciliatory, rational and civil. It’s rare to be able to have a conversation with any self-proclaimed Republican these days because it quickly degenerates into a vitriolic harangue about the evils of the government, Obama, the ACA, gay marriage and the demise of the America they knew. Once any of us rejects reason in favor of emotion, we’re already on the path to self-destruction, which we have the right to do in America, but the rhetoric is also destructive to the rest of us and that is definitely not okay.

With respect to the Republican Party, I have no sympathy. Republicans let these people, first the Tea Party and the likes of Ted Cruz, into the tent because everyone was afraid of being “not conservative enough”, and then the birthers, including the Party’s number one problem today: Donald Trump. You, the people who make up the GOP, did nothing to stop their progress, didn’t call them out on their extreme stances and, ultimately, voted them into positions of power. You, the members of this once-proud, decent, compassionate Party, the Party of Lincoln, yes, but also the Party of George H.W. Bush, Colin Powell and Bob Dole, good men all, refused to take on Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Drudge, Coulter and all of the other demagogues who pushed your Party so far to the right that even you don’t recognize it.

It was enough for you to gain majorities in both houses of congress and to obstruct (remember Limbaugh’s comments right after Obama was elected?) everything, and I mean everything, this President tried to do, not because he was taking positions that were particularly offensive to the GOP, but because the Tea Party, that tiny minority of legislators and voters, held you as willing hostages in a high-stakes kidnapping plot. They loan-sharked you and you smiled and wished them well. Which brings us to today.

Talk-radio and Fox News has worked white males into a froth over the unfairness of their lot in life, has continually pushed the “liberal media bias” canard and has encouraged, yes, encouraged, rage against the machine that they believe has brought them to the death of their middle-class dream, namely, the poor, the brown, the gay. We should all be angry over the state of this country, but what hope do we have when white, male society would rather blame the bottom 25% than the billionaires who have obscenely profited from the destruction of their way of life? Men like Trump, like Roger Ailes and Dick Cheney, like the Koch brothers, the uber-rich — those are the culprits in the obliteration of the middle-class. They killed the Unions, which were, at one time, the surest way for most people without an education or resources to get ahead. They repeatedly lobbied for and got tax cuts on the theory, now thoroughly discredited by every thinking economist in the world, that those breaks would result in a “trickle-down” benefit for common people, a benefit that we have still never seen in this country. In fact, would it be a surprise to learn that Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, his whole-hearted embrace of this “the world is flat” postulate, have STILL not been paid for? Look it up.

You, the rank and file Republicans, stood by while snake-oil salesmen tried to “out-conservative” each other, resulting in the mess you have today. You helped to create the kind of electorate that would turn to Donald Trump, the exact class of person who destroyed the middle-class, rather than real thinkers like John Kasich. You tuned in to Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and “dittoed” yourselves into a corner.

Because I already know what the follow-up comments will say, I should close this by saying that I am no Democrat. Ronald Reagan was called The Great Communicator, which he probably came by honestly, although I disagree with most of the things that came out of his mouth. I believe that Obama should be known as The Great Capitulator. He and his administration, specifically Eric Holder, utterly failed the American people by refusing to prosecute anyone on Wall Street for the corruption and greed that almost bankrupted a country. I could go on, but you know the rest. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Because I will never vote in a Republican primary (my state requires you to pick a party and only vote on that “side” — completely ridiculous), I leave it to you, the thoughtful writer of the original post and others who share his clear-headed view of the annihilation of your Party, to stop these people, to take back what is rightfully yours, to restore civility and reason. The only thing worse than another 4 or 8 years of obstruction and delay would be the election of a man who preys on the fears of the common person, who denigrates all that his small mind doesn’t understand, who is a boor and a bully, who seeks the lowest common denominator in all things. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t let that happen to us.

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