Letter: The GOP died in 2010
I have been a Republican for more than 50 years. I have obviously lived under both Democratic and Republican administrations during that time. In fact, in my 28 years in the military, I served under Democratic and Republican presidents and swore to obey their orders. It mattered not what the president’s political affiliation was, he was the president, whose orders I swore to obey. I didn’t take that oath with any caveats that I would obey the orders only if I liked him or his politics. He was the president, period.
I am proud of this country and proud to be an American. No matter which party is in the majority in the Congress, their interest should be in doing what is right for all of the American people. That seemed to be the norm until 2000, when the Bush Administration took office. During that eight years, party interest took on more influence; however, some bipartisanship was still evident. After 2010, partisanship began to play a larger role in Congressional actions and, by 2014, it had consumed both Democratic and Republican parties and nothing could get done.
Over the past 50 years there were always disagreements between the parties, but they were generally honest disagreements about how particular bills should be written to best serve the American people. While some partisanship did exist, party affiliation and interests were not used as reasons to support or not support a bill. Currently, party affiliations and interests is the only reason bills are not passed. In 2010, when the Tea Party came to prominence, the Senate Minority Leader proclaimed that the Republicans would do nothing to support our president or to support his agenda. They would vote against everything he proposed. And they have done that.
That may not have been so bad if they had proposed alternative bills to replace some of the meaningful bills the president proposed. They failed to do that as well, because if they passed a bill on their own the president might get credit for it.
In my lifetime I have never seen a political party declare they would do nothing to support the President of the United States. I have never seen a Congress—specifically the House of Representatives—fail to pass any bills that would support the American people. Bills they did propose were specifically targeted to help the Republican Party, not all the people. Even though I am still a Republican, I cannot support any Republican in this Congress. This group has badly served the American people solely for the benefit of the Republican Party.
While in the military I remember very well when President Reagan took office. Prior to that time, we were advised not to wear our uniforms on commercial travel because there was a small faction in the country who were still disgruntled over Vietnam and they could cause scenes. One of the first things President Reagan did was to tell us to wear our uniforms proudly anywhere we wanted. There was an immediate increase in pride within the military and it got better after that. He brought a sense of pride in just being an American.
We are a far cry from that now within the Republican Party. There is no one in that party today who could even carry President Reagan’s bags. In my view, any party that publicly brags and goes about shutting down the president’s ability to carry out his responsibilities is un-American. They don’t deserve to serve in any public office, certainly not the U.S. Congress.
I hope you will join me in voting them out. We need to let the Republican Party know that we expect more out of our elected representatives in Washington.
James Store, Va.