Twenty or 30 years ago, Republicans had much more moderate views and were willing to compromise. There was little rudeness and hostility toward liberals. Most wouldn’t have questioned a president’s birthplace or religion.
Many Republicans were pro-choice, socially liberal and fiscally conservative. The word “abortion” never appeared in the Republican party platform until 1976. Religion did not show up until the 1990s. Many Republicans, including Richard Nixon, were environmentalists, not climate change and evolution deniers.
They supported cutting the size of government and certainly did not envision a government that would expand to interfere in people’s sex lives, relationships and family size.
They did not hate taxes because they understood that the country needs to keep its roads and bridges from crumbling, finance the military, pay for education and libraries, police and firemen, provide help for the needy, fund science research, conserve resources and pay all the other costs of a civilized society. As president, Ronald Reagan raised taxes several times and no one went berserk.
People such as Olympia Snowe and Colin Powell were respected, moderate Republicans. Ill-mannered, anti-women’s rights, anti- government loudmouths such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Allen West, Ted Cruz and Michelle Bachman would not have been tolerated because of their extreme right-wing views.
How did extremists hijack the party from all the remaining rational and educated Republicans? I wish the moderates would take it back, chuck the tea party, and get this country out of its dreadful political quagmire.
Ellen Field, New Gloucester