The party of opportunity, the American Dream, moderates, and a diverse base.
That was the Republican Party of my grandfather. The Republican Party of yesteryear.
Today it’s the party of fear, intolerance, cultural conservatism, and racial and economic grievance.
Trump’s presidency is better defined as the end of something than it is the beginning of something.
It’s the end of my Grandjack’s Republican Party. Republicans have sacrificed their party for power. Today’s conservative values and vision would not have aligned with those of my Grandjack. He knew how to evolve and embrace change. There were things about which we disagreed; however, there were more in which we found commonality. If he were here today, he would stand up and defend the character and decency of not only his party, but his country. He wasn’t like many of today’s Republicans who are willing to forgo decency and equality because they’re too proud and insecure to relinquish the power of the white man.
It’s hard to tell why more Republicans aren’t standing up to Trump. Maybe it’s because they’re more interested in their own political advancement than they are in doing what’s right, or maybe, with Trump as president, they don’t feel the need to hide their intolerance, disrespect and greed.
My Grandjack would’ve known that just because there are many who support Trump doesn’t mean he’s what’s good for our country. What’s popular isn’t always right. Any success Trump may have wouldn’t excuse his transgressions in the eyes of my Grandjack. He would ache for the likes of Ford, Reagan or Bush Sr. who achieved Republican success with dignity, honor and moral character.
My Grandjack was a man who, despite any political differences you may have had with him, you respected and wished to emulate. He was an example for his children and continues to be an example for the generations that follow. He’s not remembered for his political viewpoints, but for his character, compassion and willingness to compromise. He recognized his faults and stood up for and believed in the good of all people. The Republicans of today have forgotten that they are supposed to lead by example. The whole world is watching, including their grandchildren.
My Grandjack believed that every day offered an opportunity to regroup and refocus. As Democrats we have a right to be outraged, but it matters what we do with that outrage. We should spend less time distracted by Trump’s lies, and more time finding a candidate who has real answers on how to rebuild what Trump has broken. As the Republican Party moves further to the right, now’s not the time for the Democratic Party to move further to the left. We need someone who will bring people together, not pull them further apart. Someone like my Grandjack.
As Democrats search for their ideal candidate, Republicans should seek a candidate that can restore decency to their party and our country. I’m proud to be the granddaughter of a strong Republican of yesteryear. The grandchildren of Republicans by today’s standard won’t be so lucky to know the same pride.