Friday, Dec. 25, 2009 | 2:03 a.m.
Where did the Republican Party that I once knew go? What’s happened to thoughtful, open debate?
Now elected Republican officials seem to be afraid of backlash from the fringe right. People have come to “tea party” rallies carrying weapons in open view. Why is that allowed? I just don’t get the hatred being spread like an uncontrolled virus.
People on the far right label you as liberal when you disagree with their political views. Is that a matter of relativity? Is anything left of extreme right considered liberal and, thus, no longer moderate?
And when do lifelong Republicans become not Republican enough?
Christine Todd Whitman, Lawrence Wilkerson, Susan Eisenhower, Lincoln Chafee, Colin Powell and Christopher Buckley all have been lifelong Republicans who have thought the party was heading in a wrong direction. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was recently judged by the far right as not being Republican enough.
A member of the Republican National Committee recently proposed a 10-point purity test that Ronald Reagan couldn’t pass. Is this what’s expected from here on in? What has happened to our politics? There are no longer debates, just opposition.
If you believe the planet is more than 14,000 years old, or that global warming or evolution exists, are you automatically an unfit Republican? Is there a future for Republicans not associated with the “tea party” movement? Will “tea party” members elect competent leaders? I simply wonder what the outcome will be. Do we actually need a third-party format, or just exercise common sense?