Viewpoints: My father was a Republican. My mother too. What happened to their party? | Columnists

Rioters seeking to overturn the election storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Instead of condemning the insurgency, GOP leaders have called it “legitimate political speech.”

Associated Press

“At what moment, then, should we expect the approach of danger? I answer that if it ever reaches us, it must arise among us. He cannot come from abroad. If destruction is our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through time or die by suicide.

– Abraham Lincoln, in an 1838 speech in Springfield, Illinois.

Let me start by telling you that I love you. I’m not one of you – I don’t belong to any party – but I count Republicans among my friends and family. Probably colleagues too, even if I don’t ask anything. And, just to emphasize the point, my late father was a staunch Republican. At a time when husbands dared to tell their wives how to vote — or how to do anything — he advised my mom to never, ever vote for a Democrat. To my knowledge, she never did.

So you will at least know that I come from a place of respect and even affection when I say that too many of you are crazy – right off the bat, and that includes your leaders, some of whom should be in jail. I hate to see what is happening to a historic, once venerable, now dangerous American party. “Legitimate political discourse? Really?

It may help to say a bit about my dad, Ken, the smartest, funniest man I’ve ever known. He was born in Saskatchewan and once was a little more to the left of the political spectrum. He even ran for Parliament in 1943 as a candidate for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a western-based party formed to help Canadians battered by the Great Depression. He lost and so, finally, the CCF: It’s deader than a Whig.

About Robert Wright

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