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What happened to the GOP?

July 20, 2009

Re "Reviving the Republican Party," Opinion, July 16

This Op-Ed article reinforces my opinion of why so many "decent, moral, honorable" folks have left the GOP.

The author implies that people with those values are Republicans. Huh? Democrats and independents don't have those values?

If Republicans want to govern, they might try competence, integrity, compassion, respect for equality, civility and a list too long to mention. They sure have mastered hypocrisy, though.

Susie Diwald

Mar Vista


What a wonderful breath of fresh air from Douglas MacKinnon.

The inherent problem is that the Republican Party is no longer one of "principles of honor, decency and morality." It is a party that caters to its base of intolerance, bigotry and extremism.

In today's political environment, his advice will fall on deaf ears, because for a Republican leader or candidate to follow his sage advice would result in defeat against a legion of extremists.

The party has painted itself into a sad, but self-created, corner.

John Anderson

Newport Beach


MacKinnon's assessment is accurate.

However, the problem with the Republican Party reclaiming its tenets of "morals, character and traditional beliefs" is that said reclamation is now apparently irrevocably tied to the religious right, which has co-opted the GOP, claiming to have the defining word on morality and values.

I come from a long line of Republicans, but this organization would be unrecognizable to them.

Rebecca S. Hertsgaard

Palm Desert

The writer is a professor of philosophy and religion at the College of the Desert


I guess that makes the Democratic Party the party of immorality, lack of character and nontraditional beliefs?

As long as the Republicans continue to cling to their fantasy that they are morally and culturally superior, they are vulnerable to being hoist on their own petards, as we see on a regular basis with politicians such as Sanford, Craig and Ensign.

I'd like to know what happened to the Republican Party of my youth, which stood for conservative fiscal policies and shunned any government meddling in cultural or religious issues.

Jon Peterson



MacKinnon suggests that the way to restore the Republican Party is to reclaim honor, decency and morality.

Hey, how about just backing off a bit on the full-court press, support for big business and the wealthy? And quit trying to hawk a return to the Reagan era. Republicans need to demonstrate more concern for the needs of their less wealthy constituency.

Kenneth Thompson

Manhattan Beach


The article misses the point. Everyone wants honor, decency and morality. The issue is how these qualities are defined and expressed.

For me, it is decent and moral for the government to help and protect the unfortunate and vulnerable among us. "Standing for" honor and decency isn't enough.

Judy Todd

Seal Beach


Hypocrisy abounds in the article, wondering what has become of the Republican Party "of morals, character and traditional beliefs."

The answer, obviously, is that it hasn't existed for the last 50 years. Has this author forgotten the Iran-Contra scandal or the launching of a war against the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada? Or how about Nixon's Watergate attack on the Constitution?

Perhaps MacKinnon should stop deluding himself that the Republican Party has anything to reclaim.

Alfred M. Sils

Woodland Hills

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