The explanation for the GOP's dysfunction is simple.
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For decades, the party has drifted away from support of the "cloth coat" middle class and into the support of the very, very rich. Ever since Richard Nixon's extraordinary disintegration, I have watched the party and its leadership pursue policies that allow some Americans to amass immense fortunes at the cost of our infrastructure, our education system and even the lives of some of our children spent in futile overseas campaigns that achieved nothing but an increase in wealth and power for the elite.
This was accomplished, with evil and malicious intent, by those paid by the wealthy to write and broadcast hateful rhetoric that increased fear and suspicion in ordinary Americans against anything the elite did not like: human rights campaigns for racial and sexual minorities, the governments and citizenries of other countries, educated people who knew better, even our own neighbors. If it threatened the enormous wealth and power of the 0.5% (as if they couldn't sacrifice a little), conservative media hacks made their own fortunes belittling it in the minds of people who should have used the sense they were born with but didn't.
Some of us, after decades of writing letters and emails to the powerful of the party, finally gave up and left it. Those courageous people who stayed are fighting for the soul of the party, and will not go along with the extremists who don't even know, or care if they do know, that they are undercutting our democracy, our economy and the lives of ordinary people who work for an honest living and believe in decent behavior. For decades, Americans have found themselves facing squeezed incomes, the increasing costs needed to pay one another to do the things we need done in this country, everything from filling potholes to teaching our kids, while a tiny minority of Americans gather more and more to themselves and laugh at the rest of us.
The Republican Party will not be the Grand Old Party until ordinary members stop listening to the hacks and think for themselves. God help us.
Carolyn Wiedmer, Littleton
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