Reading your feature on the Massachusetts Republican Party’s long slide into irrelevance (“GOP, RIP?”, News and Features, October 13), I’m reminded of that suddenly popular quote: “I used to be a Republican before they lost their minds.”
I come from a family that has been Republican since the Civil War — beginning with my great-grandfather, who joined the Pennsylvania Volunteers and fought at Gettysburg. Once upon a time I might vote for a moderate Republican candidate, especially when an Ed King or John Silber would end up as the Democratic nominee. But I don’t think I’ve voted Republican since William Weld’s first run for governor. Over the years I’ve felt increasingly transformed into a scapegoat by the party’s vicious pandering to the politics of the lowest common denominator — first as a student opposed to the Vietnam war, and now as a gay man — by hypocrites who never had the integrity to practice what they preached (hello, Mark Foley?).
t’s a tragedy that Massachusetts has become a one-party state and that our “opposition” party is now about as relevant as the Socialist Workers Party, but I’m afraid that local Republicans have no one to blame for their sorry state but themselves.
I flirted briefly with the state GOP back in the late ’70s. In 1978 I supported Avi Nelson’s primary campaign against US Senator Edward W. Brooke, and I also supported Eddie King. In college at Boston State, I joined Young Americans for Freedom — how much more conservative could you be? As I age, I am not quite the conservative I once was. Over the years I’ve even campaigned for liberal Democrats. But reading “GOP, RIP?” brought me back to those days when I considered myself fairly conservative.
With the rise of un-enrolled voters, political parties have been hurt. Here in Massachusetts the Republican Party is starting to look like a chalk man on the roadside of a crime scene. The future of the top-down Republican structure might crumble if Kerry Healey fares poorly in November. Top-heavy operations usually do that when the bottom falls out.
I believe the fears that politicized evangelical Republicans might try a party takeover are real. Now is the time for rank-and-file Republicans at the grassroots to take their Alamo stand. We need two strong parties to challenge each other. We all benefit by such. The future of the party might take the likes of State Senator Bob Hedlund and former Melrose mayor Pat Guerriero working together to make the GOP relevant again.
Let’s profile courage
Thanks for your September 29 editorial “Fear Itself.” Bush uses fear to control us. A quick study of the administration’s policies and official statements show how cunningly they have spun everything to this end. We have foolishly allowed them to brainwash us for the past five years. Fear’s one rational cure is courage, a commodity in very short supply right now in this country. Any politician who displays even a little courage in the next few weeks will reap the rewards. I want someone to talk to me about courage, not fear; of ways to bring peace instead of victory.
I want to hear my leaders talk about real spiritual values, like forgiveness, compassion, and making peace.
Crescent City, CA