Eliot Glassheim, Grand Forks, column: Democratic Party welcomes disaffected GOPersAll Republicans who have been called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and have had their party taken away from them need to know that there is a place for them in the moderate Democratic Party.
By: Eliot Glassheim,
By Eliot Glassheim
The following is an open letter to the president.
GRAND FORKS — Dear President Obama:
In the past few years, the Republican Party has gone out of its way to become a permanent minority party.
A majority of Americans believe that in this time of fiscal crisis and growing inequality of wealth, millionaires should be taxed more. The new GOP resolutely defends the privileges of millionaires.
A majority of Americans approve of government-managed and guaranteed Medicare and Social Security. The new GOP can’t wait to remove the guarantees and turn the programs over to private insurance companies.
A majority of Americans, including Republican women and lay Catholics, believe that contraceptives should be part of health care policies. The new GOP insists on belittling insurance policies in which contraception is part of a health insurance package.
A majority of Americans want Congress to compromise on a long-term plan to reduce the deficit without shredding the social safety net. The new GOP congratulates itself on being unwilling to compromise.
A majority of Americans believe that spending on infrastructure improvements will be good for the economy and good for the nation. The new GOP refuses to spend money on infrastructure improvements.
Mr. President, I believe now is the time for you to help the new GOP to become the minority party it yearns to be.
The new GOP of Indiana recently threw out Sen. Dick Lugar, a decent man and an expert on foreign affairs respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. The first step toward making the Democratic Party a dominant centrist majority for the next decade is to appoint Lugar to a useful foreign affairs position within your Democratic administration.
Mr. President, now is the time for you to include moderate Republicans who have been abandoned by the new GOP. All Republicans who have been called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and have had their party taken away from them need to know that there is a place for them in the moderate Democratic Party which you lead.
Send the signal now.
Tell moderate Republicans that they can find a home in a new Democratic Party which:
** Is strong on national defense without being trigger happy.
** Understands that we must commit to long-term fiscal restraint without destroying the poor or undermining the middle class.
** Is more libertarian in terms of government interference with private sexual matters.
** Believes in strengthening the private marketplace by adopting clear expectations which protect society from excesses, bubbles and shady practices.
** Is willing to get good legislation by incorporating sound suggestions from moderate Republicans.
Mr. President, our country needs a party that can govern. Take advantage of new GOP extremism to position the Democratic Party at the center of American life.
There’s room there for Log Cabin Republicans, for people (such as former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo.) who believe in the crucial importance of fiscal responsibility and for those who want smart government.
I always have admired your moderation and reasonableness. Now is the time to welcome the Republican orphans into the new Democratic Party.
Glassheim, a Democrat, is a Grand Forks City Council member and a state representative from District 18.