For My Republican Friends

My Republican friends and family members are good and wise people, and I respect their choices in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They know I am politically left-leaning, and they love me anyway. I accord them the same honour. This is for them.

Whisper in ear
Whisper by John Perivolaris via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I’m just going to whisper this in your ear: “The people running the White House right now aren’t really Republicans.” It’s true.  They call themselves Republicans, but what they are doing is not what you would do if you were in power.  Their policies and principles are far removed from the basic tenets of the party and even further removed from the goals of the anti-slavery activists who originally founded it.

Last night I was discussing recent political events with friends and we agreed that the Republican White House was currently in some disarray. We also agreed that there was more than a whiff of treason in the election campaign’s ties to Russia and to Russian influence. But, I was hesitant to tar all Republicans with the same brush, so I said “There is a difference between ‘Republicans’ and what is going on right now.”

At the time, that was mostly just a hunch, but the more I think about it the more I think my hunch is right. The Republican party has, historically, stood for some issues which we can all now applaud. They worked to grant freed slaves equality under the law, and they were the first political party to be in favour of votes for women. There is a lot to respect in the Republican party’s basic principles, and some that even a social democrat might agree with.

Essentially, Republicans want to limit government interference in individual lives.  I’m totally on board with that. Having recently tried to help a newcomer find her way around some local, state, and federal regulations, I agree that the system has become labyrinthine and oppressive in some ways. Anything we can do to reduce unnecessary and overly complex regulations is fine with me.

Republicans also want workers to keep more of the money they earn and pay fewer taxes. On the face of it, I agree with that, too.  Unfortunately, decisions currently being made favour reducing the taxes on corporations even further, but doing little to decrease the burden on individuals. This seems to fly in the face of the party’s ideals.

The goal of giving choice to individuals—particularly in education and health care—has evolved to promote commercial choices at the expense of public choices, but it is doubtful that this is beneficial to most individuals.  It is better for some, to be sure, but mostly it is better for the commercial interests and a small group of owners, shareholders, and insurers.

These are some of the reasons I feel that the current leadership is betraying its membership. It holds out the promise of lower taxes and more individual freedoms, but in fact has created a system that does neither.

Take back your party, Republicans! You can give more choice to individuals without abandoning existing systems that work well. You can reduce government interference without enhancing corporate control over labour and the environment. You can reduce taxes without sacrificing essential welfare.

As I said at the beginning; you are good, smart people. Put your heads together and get this right. Please. For all our sakes.












  1. I am not keen on current Republicans. The President is not fair or for the people. I am glad you mentioned some good tenets of original Republican party. Smiles, Robin

  2. I can agree with you on most all points except I haave observed this in the party for most of my adult life, beginning with the Reagan years. I recall a Republican doctor I worked with in 1994 stating that healthcare was a ” privelage”, not a “right”.

    • I was born in England where the National Health Service was well established and afforded treatment for everyone. Then I emigrated to Canada where basic health care is also available to everyone and supplemented by private health insurance. So, it is very hard for me to understand why the US system is based on private health insurance which excludes those who cannot afford it. Something that is perceived as a right in the UK and Canada is, in fact, only available to the privileged in the US. Health Care is not a human right protected by law in the US. I think it should be, but at present it isn’t. You may be interested in this article from the Journal of the American Medical Association:

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