Rejuvenation of the Grand Old Party

It came whole into my mind lately, this dream. Whether nightdream or daydream I cannot say, but there it was: a committed lifelong Republican’s surprise announcement of her candidacy for President. To me, a committed lifelong Democrat, it seemed in present circumstances too good to be true. But maybe if I share it, this dream, the sharing just might help along the beautiful prospect that it could improve the course of our honorable, troubled, America. And so, with hope, I am honored to share her sincere words…

…My fellow Americans, It is with hope and humility that I today announce my candidacy for President of the United States.

I respectfully ask for your vote—and I earnestly hope you will vote for me knowing I am a lifelong Republican, even though my name must appear as an Independent on ballots across the USA. Let there be no doubt:  I represent the traditional values for which my Republican Party has stood since 1854, when we first rose up to combat the curse of slavery from expanding into our western territories.

It is no accident that we Republicans are still called “the party of Lincoln,” because we long stood for the highest principles President Lincoln embodied: liberty, unity, equality, and the worth of every individual American. Sad to say, many Republicans have abandoned our original worthy values—and, one by one, they have become the values of today’s Democratic Party. Democrats are now what we used to be.

As I seek to be your president, I specifically reject the unworthy values of today’s Republican Party controllers. Our honorable grand old party has been highjacked by people who care nothing for those traditional values—the values of Thomas Jefferson, of Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower—TRULY GREAT leaders we still respect. If you elect me as your next President, I promise, I swear, I vow that I will return our venerable Grand Old Party to its original, honorable, values!  What long made America great in the eyes of the world were those original values: liberty, unity, equality, and the worth of every individual American. We shall reclaim them, and make America TRULY GREAT again.

And I guarantee that I will not cease until the Grand Old Party’s restoration is complete. How very sad it is that today’s Party has degenerated into craven, sheep-like worship of an unworthy person who simply cannot compare to our former great leaders, because he embodies every wrong that our society universally agrees is wrong. It is beyond belief that a person sullied by credible accusations of rape, theft, lying and insurrection could be seriously considered for our highest office. It is dishonorable and disgraceful that our highjacked Republican Party today actually supports a convicted felon so vain and egotistical that, without trace of shame, he doesn’t even bother to deny his immoral, unethical and criminal conduct. Despite overwhelming contrary evidence, he continues incessant lying about election integrity that he knows divides our nation’s people, serving himself instead of our national unity.

Compare his reputation to the year 1972, when Tom Eagleton’s vice-presidential candidacy was sunk by the mere revelation that he had suffered from bouts of depression. Compare his character to 1988, when Gary Hart’s presidential campaign abruptly ended in disgrace after he was reported to be a womanizer, with voters nationwide questioning his character and “whether a man like him should be president.” A man like him…

Any candidate for the world’s most prominent office should be above reproach. Instead, our misguided Republican Party defies all morality, all ethics and all common sense by its utterly blind commitment to a dishonorable candidate who is, on the record, known to have incited, encouraged, and enjoyed a violent insurrection to overthrow the government of the United States. Dear God. Tom Eagleton and Gary Hart were pikers compared to the criminal behaviors—and self-serving intentions—of this unworthy person today’s unworthy Republican Party is actually supporting to be our nation’s president.

My fellow Americans, both Republicans and Democrats: I say we can do better than this AND WE MUST!

I shall waste no more time on what’s wrong with today’s Republican Party and its rude, self-absorbed candidate, because those wrongs are, or should be, glaringly obvious to every thinking American. I shall instead tell you, in as few words as possible, the issues my candidacy stands for. Issues are what should be at the center of every campaign for political office—not merely dug-up dirt about the opposing candidate. Issues, always, concern what’s best for the greatest number of the people. Here are the basic issues in which I believe as a lifelong Republican deeply loyal to my country and committed to the betterment of life for all our people, every one.

I believe that government should address, and reverse, the causes that keep people ignorant and poor. That means we should be using government’s immense power to improve education and our economy, so that American children won’t ever again grow up unable to understand what I’m talking about here, or live their entire lifetimes in desolate poverty with no hope, ever, of rising to a happier, easier, lifestyle.

I believe in civics curricula in every grade beginning with first grade, so children will grow up to be voters who understand why government exists, and will respect democracy.

I believe government should enforce equalization of opportunity, so that doors are kept open for every citizen to rise as high as their natural ability can carry them. Unlike China and Russia, raising people up—not controlling them—is the main purpose for which our government exists.

I believe government must strictly regulate corporations and monopolies so they stop growing to such colossal power, worshiping only profit at terrible expense to their employees, their customers and the common good of our whole nation.

I believe that government should be sensibly limited, particularly in arenas such as military intelligence and policing functions that can so easily go overboard and mistreat people instead of respecting them.

I respectfully disagree with my fellow Democrats who believe big government is the only way to achieve all worthy ends, because my faith in a free market, if it’s truly free, exceeds their suspicion of capitalistic exploitation. But this is not a life-or-death disagreement. There’s still lots of room for friendly disagreement with equally friendly willingness to experiment, to try out new ideas, and discover—together—what truly works and what doesn’t. And all Republicans should honestly remember the great truth that the Democrats’ New Deal programs really did save our nation from the Depression and the social chaos it caused.

Most important of all, even when we disagree, I still respect my fellow Americans who are Democrats. I know many who respect me in turn, and we are mutually open to reasonable compromises that serve all Americans. As of this moment, I join with them in full agreement that the present Republican Party is on a runaway, insane course to utter destruction—its own as well as our beloved nation.

My fellow Republicans, if you agree with what I say today, please vote for me. Together, let’s restore civility—and unity—in the world’s first nation to elevate human rights to its highest priority. My fellow Americans who are Democrats, if you like the values and issues I have expressed, please consider voting for me. To you both I say, if I am elected, I absolutely assure you that both of our parties will henceforth be equally devoted to democracy, and to our nation’s traditional values of liberty, unity, equality, and the worth of every individual American. And, I promise you that, along with restored American values, I will complete a major housecleaning and deep reform of the present errant, aberrant, Republican Party.

To everyone hearing my voice today I emphasize this above all: Our nation depends on our unity. Let us now re-unite. God bless you all, and thank you to all who will vote for me to be your next president…

…and so ended my dream, leaving me to wonder…  Will any modern republican—of integrity equal to Lincoln, Grant, Roosevelt, Eisenhower—affix his or her signature to the hopeful words above? I know there’s many of you out there. In this critical time, will you please stand up and speak out on behalf of all those Republican friends we used to know, and work together with?…

[published in the (Frankfort, Kentucky) State Journal on June 15, 2024]