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September 20, 2017

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Republicans are frustrated with the party

John McCain faces a double dilemma. The party base is giving him only tepid support and not much money compared to the half-a-billion dollars that Obama and Clinton have raised. If that isn't worrisome enough, moderate conservatives who once were the mainstream of support for the Republican Party are disillusioned. They might or might not abandon the Grand Old Party this fall, but they feel that the Party has abandoned them, and has shown little but contempt for traditional Republican principles.

A plea from a lifelong Republican banker to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee asserts that today's Republican Party has degenerated into a triumvirate of hawks, tax slashers, and religious extremists. The hawks want to expand the military at any cost and think bombing Iran would be a good idea. The tax slashers want to reduce any and all taxes, especially those on the wealthy, regardless of the effect on the economy, and they claim that deficits don't matter. As for the religious extremists, their only interests seem to be outlawing abortion, gay bashing, and creationism instead of science.

What happened to the fundamental conservative principles that used to be at the heart of the Republican Party? Conservatives believe that passing huge deficits on to our children and grandchildren is cowardly and immoral. Today's Republican base does not, argues this disillusioned Republican. Traditional conservatives believe we should intervene in the affairs of other countries only when there is a clear and present threat to the U.S. They consider conservation to be a national imperative, whether it is energy, parklands, national forests, or air and water quality. When it comes to individual choice and responsibility, always the clarion call to attack big government, these centrist Republicans feel that government should get off our backs and out of our bedrooms, and not dictate solutions in socially divisive areas such as abortion, gay rights, prayer in school, and flag desecration. It does not require any deep understanding of American politics to realize that the Bush-era Republicans in power have abandoned all of these traditional GOP principles in favor of the war in Iraq, permanent tax cuts regardless of the huge deficit, and pandering to many of the demands of the religious extremists.

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