Thomas Friedman’s column June 9 was terrific. But instead of a “New Republican Party,” I recommend that principled and intellectual Republicans join the Democratic Party.
Years ago, Republicans loved Donald Trump while he was claiming the president was born in Kenya. Months ago, Paul Ryan got behind the despised Ted Cruz just to slow Trump. After weeks of coyness, Ryan now endorses Trump explaining that a “textbook” racist is preferable to a non-Republican. Only Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham are talking reason.
But the base is beyond reason. They have been conditioned to believe that things are worse now than eight years ago; that they are entitled to preferences their demographic enjoyed decades ago; that climate scientists are liars; that cutting taxes balances the budget; and that our government can’t be trusted (at all).
This last is why governmental non-participants like Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and (office-holding but non-participating) Cruz led against the governors.
There is a model for switching parties that worked. Following President Johnson’s efforts against segregation, the south went from traditionally Democratic to solidly Republican. This was far more jarring for southerners who joined the hated party of Lincoln than anything principled Republicans face today.
Don Smith, Fresno