Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Republican Party needs soul-searching
TO THE EDITORS:
I would like to respond to Ms. Feenstra, who gave an impassioned plea that we remember a more moderate Republican party. She was absolutely correct.
The Republican Party has an honored past, led by many who today would be called progressive in their views. It was a party of intelligence, fiscally cautious but never callous to the needs of the population. This was the party of my late father. I'm certain that, in 1934, he felt he joined a party, strong in its leadership and with a platform that many felt held the best promise for a growing nation.
The Democratic Party at that time was still trying to hold on to the old view of states' rights, which really translated to a desire to continue the system of segregation in the South without interference from a Republican-led central government.
And then the game changed. The Democratic Party, recognizing that it must change or disappear like the dinosaurs, changed into a party of diversity, working for the rights of women, the poor and disenfranchised and the workers of this country.
The Democratic segregationists of the old South either changed, accepted the sins of their past, died or they joined a party that was also changing.
David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK, sought George H. W. Bush's support when he ran for the Louisiana State House in the 1980s. Wisely, Mr. Bush did not support him, but the party should have recognized that it was attracting people I'm sure it did not intend to attract.
Ms. Feentra reminds us of a proud history that the GOP can rightfully claim but it's just that ... history. Today's GOP has strayed far from the progressive views of the party of my father and of Lincoln.
The Republican Party, like the Democratic Party has done, must consider its future and existence in an ever changing America.