« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Greg Hodur. Fargo, Published June 15 2013

Letter: What happened to the party of Lincoln, Reagan and Dole?

The leafy spurge The Forum awarded to knee-jerk opponents of President Barack Obama was richly deserved, if too long in coming (June 10).

What’s happened to a Republican Party I once respected as a worthy opponent that played a constructive role in crafting policies that made this nation the greatest place on earth?

I’m talking about the party of Abraham Lincoln, who ended slavery and preserved the union, and someone with close ties to North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt, who was arguably the leading progressive of his time. Neither feared the future, and both embraced change.

Former Sen. Bob Dole didn’t exaggerate when he said recently that even Ronald Reagan wouldn’t be welcome in today’s Republican Party. Neither would be Lincoln or Roosevelt, and probably not even Richard Nixon.

In a shockingly short period of time, that party has been taken over by a collection of no-nothings, nitwits and knuckleheads like Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio; former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas nationally; and locally Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Republican Reps. Al Carlson and Bette Grande, of Fargo.

They all seem to have no agenda other than to oppose anything that can prepare our country and state for the future, and want to relitigate issues like civil and reproductive rights, social programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and the ability of workers to collectively bargain that have been settled long ago and that most Americans support by huge margins.

They don’t care about history, science or governing in a responsible way. They want it their way, and if they can’t get it, they’re perfectly willing to take the country and state down.

Like most Democrats, I maintain my belief that government can work.

But the prerequisite for that to happen is a new generation of Republican leadership that doesn’t seek to divide us by appealing to prejudices rooted in the past, offers reasonable alternatives for addressing today’s problems, and is willing to compromise in order to move us forward toward a more perfect union.