Warren S: “Wow, harsh column yesterday! Not sure what happened, but it sure was extreme. I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while, so this seemed like a good time. I give you the lion’s share of the credit for my dropping my Republican registration, my vote for Obama in 2008, and my now generally more center-leaning views. But my observation is that your column has become a lot more shrill. Yesterday’s is an example. It’s your column and you get to do what you want with it, but my experience is that you get more with honey than you do with vinegar. When you instead use name-calling, sarcasm, etc. I find it a turnoff.”
☞ Fair enough. I appreciate the feedback and especially agree with the part I bolded. So you won’t see columns like yesterday’s here often. Yet it was factually true (no?) and presumably — though they wouldn’t frame it the way I did — a lot of Republicans are proud of, or at least pleased with, the party’s position on climate change, voting rights, and the rest. Or else why would they still identify as Republicans?
(Long though yesterday’s laundry list was, there was lots I left off: shutting down the government; opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; thwarting universal background checks; preventing the refinancing of federal student loans . . . )
And that was ultimately the point: having some of my readers who identify as Republicans read through the list and realize that, well, they’re not proud to be associated with these things at all.
Proud Eisenhower Republicans, yes; Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt Republicans, sure; Nixon or Ford or Rockefeller or Bloomberg or Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, Mitt Romney, or George Romney Republicans, fine. But today’s Republicans? I don’t think so. “Temporary Independents” perhaps. Until they get their party back.
Here’s a good piece that makes the same point without the sarcasm: “10 past Republicans who’d never make it in today’s crazy GOP.” It’s three years old, but even then it highlighted Ted Cruz by way of contrast. If anything, the GOP may have become even a bit crazier since 2013.
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A cult is a religion with no political power.~Tom Wolfe
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