Opinion | Republican Party’s Future: Stay Loyal to Trump, or Disavow Him?

To the Editor:

Re “Why Are Republicans Still This Loyal to a Mar-a-Lago Exile?,” by Peter Wehner (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, Feb. 14):

The old joke retold in “Annie Hall” captures the Republican Party’s dilemma: A guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, “Doc, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” The doc says, “Why don’t you commit him?” The guy replies, “I would, but we need the eggs.”

Nearly half a century ago, the Republican establishment, which favors low taxes, limited regulations and free trade, realizing that these policies have limited appeal beyond boardrooms and country clubs, welcomed into the G.O.P. anti-abortion evangelicals, gun-owning single-issue voters and those opposing programs to help African-Americans, gay people and other marginalized Americans. For the following decades, party elites ruled the Republican roost, won elections and pushed their economic platform.

Starting five years ago with Donald Trump besting Jeb Bush et al., the chickens now top the Republican pecking order. Mr. Wehner argues that the party should embrace “a policy agenda to meet the challenges of the modern world” and no longer be “the nesting place of lunacy.”

Good luck, but the experience of half a century shows that to win elections the Republican Party needs the eggs.

Larry Kahn
Potomac, Md.

To the Editor:

I think Peter Wehner is spot on. I have been worried about the substance and direction of the Republican Party for the past five years as well.

One possible solution to both ensure that the Trumpian phoenix does not rise from the ashes and to help put more thoughtful, honest and moderate Republicans in a position to have greater influence is by having Democrats change their voter registration to Republican.

I am not advocating that Democrats jump ship; they can always vote Democratic in general elections. I am advocating that by registering Republican for the primaries they will be able to undermine the power that Donald Trump has over the party and put in place candidates who are not megalomaniacal, undemocratic and dishonest (if not just plain chicken).

Crosby Brown
Wyndmoor, Pa.

To the Editor:

Lindsey Graham, in a recent interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, said the winning strategy for the Republicans going forward is to tie their strings to the recently acquitted ex-president.

Donald Trump lost the election, lost 61 court challenges and helped the Republicans lose control of the Senate. The Trump insurgents who stormed the Capitol with their MAGA caps and Trump signs effectively branded MAGA cap-wearers as insurrectionists. He lost his Twitter account in addition to his presidential pulpit.

Democrats should be encouraged if Republicans follow Mr. Graham’s advice.

Alan Lubell
New York

To the Editor:

If Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Kevin McCarthy want to build a Republican Party that can win elections, they should recruit conservatives within the African-American and Hispanic communities. African-Americans are the most regular American churchgoers, followed by Hispanic people, then whites. Along with Hispanic Americans, a large percentage have conservative views on abortion.

So why is the Republican leadership repelling them by actively perpetuating false stereotypes of African-Americans as violent — most recently by repeatedly referring to the tiny minority of Black Lives Matter demonstrations that were violent, rather than the 93 percent that were peaceful? Why fight to retain the loyalty of a racist minority rather than fighting to recruit principled conservatives, whatever their ethnicity?

The success of our American experiment depends on our devotion to the ideas of our foundational documents, not to any particular ethnic or tribal identity.

Susan Wagner
Nederland, Colo.

Source: Read Full Article