Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We need a viable Republican Party

EDITOR: This is not my usual tongue-in-cheek letter. I am very concerned about the Republican party in this state. I don’t believe that one-party state government is good for Californians or for Americans nationally.

I was born, reared, educated, lived and worked in this state. I am a Navy veteran from California. I love this state and I am afraid that the Republican Party in this state will become as extinct as the Northern Spotted Owl.

I can recall just a few of the great Republican leaders we used to have. Earl Warren, Thomas Kuchel, Goodwin J. Knight, William F. Knowland, Ronald Reagan and George Deukmejian, just to name a few. Gov. Reagan signed the act that legalized abortion in this state. He signed into law payroll withholding requiring taxpayers to file a return in order to get some of their money back. He signed into law a bill that established Community Mental Health Centers and paid for the centers by closing down many of the old, expensive and sometimes inhumane state hospitals.

I am a firm believer in a strong two-party system and see one-party rule as potential dangerous to our political system. The GOP in California has shifted too far to the right and alienated many of our fellow citizens. I don’t believe the Republicans I have mentioned above would even be nominated by their party today. The party can’t just appeal to a few old, white men who are afraid of the boogeyman.

The Republicans can be enriched by including, especially at the local level, the growing diversity of this state. They must include Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, women and others who have felt excluded by the party. Take no more implacable positions such as signing pledges not to do this or that. Keep your values, but resist insisting on imposing them on people with varying notions of why kind of life they prefer for themselves. Be inclusive and listen to their ideas. Please, don’t allow the party to disappear from being relevant to our state government.


Diamond Springs

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 24 comments

  • cookie65November 12, 2012 - 6:11 am

    A whole bunch of leftist talking points straight from the pages of the democrat playbook. I don't see people in groups, I see Americans. The only minority I recognize is the individual. The spotted is not and has never been in danger of extinction, it does not and never has lived in "old growth forest", nothing lives in "old growth forest", there is no food there. JFK would be a republican today compared to the modern dem party. They have pushed further and further left. While the repub's for the most part still stand for limited government and maximum freedom. The electorate has been dumbdown to believe that the role of government is to provide for their every wish. The typical college grad today has been trained to believe two things about the Constitution. First, the commerce clause gives government permission to do anything it wants and second, the general welfare clause gives government permission to do anything it wants. This election is proof that public opinion is the sum of all ignorance. The republican party has changed. It has moved left. There are consequences to believing the public treasury can be fair game to anyone who can buy enough votes with it. And we are all going to pay a big price for that behavior.

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  • chrispyNovember 12, 2012 - 2:07 pm

    The United States Constitution contains two references to "the General Welfare", one occurring in the Preamble and the other in the Taxing and Spending Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments."[2][3] Moreover, the Supreme Court held the understanding of the General Welfare Clause contained in the Taxing and Spending Clause adheres to the construction given it by Associate Justice Joseph Story in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.[4][5] Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is not a grant of general legislative power,[4][6] but a qualification on the taxing power[4][7][8] which includes within it a federal power to spend federal revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government.[4][9][10] The Court described Justice Story's view as the "Hamiltonian position",[4] as Alexander Hamilton had elaborated his view of the taxing and spending powers in his 1791 Report on Manufactures. Story, however, attributes the position's initial appearance to Thomas Jefferson, in his Opinion on the Bank of the United States.[11] As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government

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  • DeeNovember 12, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    Harry, exactly what do you want the Republican Party to represent? Do you want it to be Demo-Lite so it can be just viable enough to be to be used as a whipping boy on which to blame all the problems? One party rule-Democrats. What's not to like?

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  • Jack MartinNovember 12, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    Funny how Zelinka follows the formula to try and establish personal credibility on his chosen subject. Speak in moderate terms, express concern for the other side, affirm that two storng parties are necessary for healthy governance. Then... just trash the conservatives with the same old tired, rehearsed talking points from the DNC. Here's a couple observations, Zelinka: One, the Republican Party does not need to "reach out" to anyone. It should merely state (proudly) what is stands for. Any person of any age, orientation or race is welcome to come into that tent. They need only share the common goals of smaller government and the time-proven benefits derived from it. Two, pay attention to the media and watch what adjectives are used to describe ANY member of ANY minority that steps forth and says they are Conservative. You'll see real hatred in action.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 12, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    To all who cheer lead for the Democrat party. You won, now what? Lead. As far as giving lectures on how to run the opposition party, got it. Read Saul Alinsky and run his playbook. No problem.

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  • James E.November 12, 2012 - 6:12 pm

    The problem with leading is that the House will continue to obstruct until 2014. If so, I predict the control of the House will go to the Democrats. America is tired of gridlock.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 12, 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Excuses are like butt holes. Everyone's got one, no one wants to here from them. Obama has his mandate he should lead. There are no Republicans left in Sacramento. Brown should just lead. I don't have to follow, not my responsibility. Mine is to figure out just how my company and the 147 families here in Sacramento and the 200 other families around this nation that depend on me can remain economically viable in this political and economic environment. But that is my problem and concern. America has spoken loudly and has surpassed the tipping point. More people depend on our government for their livelihood than support it. So at least for now I have some worth as the income producer. The reality is that no democrat posting in this paper has any influence on Washington DC or Sacramento. I wonder what they can depend upon to influence the socialist machine.

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  • James E.November 12, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    No Republican posting in this paper has any influence on Washington DC or Sacramento. If they did, Brown and Obama would have lost. On the other side of the coin, also unlikely that any Democrats posting in this paper have any influence on Washington DC or Sacramento -- but, one never knows who has contacts. A lot goes on behind the curtain.

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  • T69807November 12, 2012 - 7:56 pm

    Mr. Zelinka, America is already one of the most inclusive, if not the most inclusive, countries in the world. We have welcomed newcomers of all origins to our shores for hundreds of years. Conservatives applaud that history. They believe that here there should be no Irish, Hispanic, Romanian or any other ethnic political values, just American political values. The idea that race-based political values should trump American values is a relatively recent, and sad, state of affairs. If Republicans are guilty of anything, it is a failure to promote their political values in ways that make sense to all Americans regardless of ethnicity. There are no racist components in liberty, trust in God, small government, or personal responsibility, nor in striving to create political unity from diversity. The Republican message is that although these values have made America free and prosperous for two hundred years, they are now under attack and eroding quickly, to our country’s detriment. The sooner Republicans can make that case clearly and cogently to all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, the better.

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  • DeeNovember 13, 2012 - 8:05 am

    Hee,hee,hee, it didn't take long to start blaming the House Republicans. Not to worry, the Administration will rule by executive order. Ruling by legislation and following the law is so-o-o old fashion.

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  • James E.November 13, 2012 - 8:32 am

    Dee, we've been blaming the House Tea/Republicans for the past four years.

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  • DeeNovember 13, 2012 - 8:56 am

    James E- Continue on. It is so logical that the House controls all. Even with the refusal of the Senate to accept bills so that the bills can go to joint committee and of course the never ending Executive Orders mean that all problems belong to the Republicans.Wow, are the Republicans powerful or what.

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  • DeeNovember 13, 2012 - 8:59 am

    James E., it just dawned on me four years you blamed them when they only had control for two years. Wow, those Republicans are all powerful. They fooled us into thinking they didn't for ACA but they were really in charge. Hee, hee.

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  • CatherineNovember 13, 2012 - 4:28 pm

    Conservative commentors: Who would you consider to be the top three Republicans to present a coherent conservative viewpoint, and why?

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  • Jesus H ChristNovember 13, 2012 - 5:08 pm

    Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter seem to carry the most influence, although I consider all three nutcases.

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  • DeeNovember 13, 2012 - 5:12 pm

    Catherine, as a Constitutional Conservative I can not name any true conservative Republican. If you want to know "coherent conservative viewpoint, and why?" I suggest you read "The Conservative Mind:from Burke to Eliot" by Russell Kirk and "The Road to Serfdom" by Friedrich Hayek. We also have a deep belief in the Constitution. However Catherine I tend to believe that in your mind coherent will never be an adjective for Conservatism.

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  • CatherineNovember 13, 2012 - 5:33 pm

    Quite the contrary, Dee. I've been a registered Republican more than once, voted for some Republicans, and my father worked with Finch, a Nixon crony. I grew up pure 60s Republican. But reading more deeply, and also seeing poor and disabled people struggle, changed my mind. The question stands: Which elected officials represent your viewpoint?

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  • Thomas GibneyNovember 13, 2012 - 6:05 pm

    Try this on for size...and see if it compares to today..think about it... Communist Goals (1963) Documention below -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963 Current Communist Goals EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR. OF FLORIDA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, January 10, 1963 Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America. At Mrs. Nordman's request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following "Current Communist Goals," which she identifies as an excerpt from "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen: [From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen] CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS 1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war. 2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war. 3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength. 4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war. 5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites. 6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination. 7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N. 8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N. 9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress. 10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N. 11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.) 12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party. 13. Do away with all loyalty oaths. 14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office. 15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States. 16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights. 17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks. 18. Gain control of all student newspapers. 19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack. 20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions. 21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures. 22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms." 23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art." 24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press. 25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV. 26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy." 27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch." 28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." 29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis. 30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man." 31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over. 32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc. 33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus. 34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI. 36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions. 37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business. 38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat]. 39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals. 40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce. 41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents. 42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems. 43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government. 44. Internationalize the Panama Canal. 45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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  • EvelynNovember 13, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    Catherine, when Dee said "I can not name any true conservative Republican," I understood that to include elected officials. But I may be wrong. However, I'm wondering which currently serving officials you believe best serve the poor and disabled. And, what is the evidence?

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  • DeeNovember 13, 2012 - 6:16 pm

    Catherine- If you wish to understand Conservatism read about the philosophy. The fact that you and Hillary reached maturation in a Republican household means nothing. Conservatives give more to charity and volunteering than liberals. Liberals like to tax and after taking a large cut give barely enough to assist them. Your question is just a a device to try to change the subject of the abject failure of the current Administration. You won! Take glory in it. We live in a one party state with the Country close behind.

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  • JohnNovember 13, 2012 - 8:42 pm

    Mr. Zelinka: I agree with you wholeheartedly: we need a viable GOP. Today's GOP resembles the WHIGs and is therefore destined for the dustbin of history--soon. After reading your first paragraph, I knew that you would be vilified by people who, most likely, never got to the second paragraph, much less the rest of your sensible letter. Today's GOP, and its leading element, the Tea Party, look more and more neo-fascist and less and less democratic. Witness the vilification and demonization of Presidents Clinton and Obama by the GOP (and its Tea Party acolytes): the acceptance of the legitimate election of a Democrat--and a black one at that--is something they cannot accept.

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  • CatherineNovember 13, 2012 - 10:39 pm

    My question is not a "device"; it's merely a question. Which Republicans do you see as leading the way in support of your values? On the Democratic side, I'm fond of Obama's work for health care, Warren's work for consumer finance, I think Bernie Sanders stands up for issues that affect middle class families, and I lament the loss of Russ Feingold, who worked so well across the aisle that he was targeted. I respect Jerry Brown's work to cut the through the mess that is Californian politics (as governor before, as mayor of Oakland, and in his current work). No, that doesn't mean I voted Yes on 30, and I'm not interested in whether or not you agree with me. Save it. I'm just asking, Who are you for, rather than against? Who provides Republican leadership that matches your values? I doubt that a dead Mormon Bircher (Tom?) is a viable leader. Is Ryan your guy? Boehner? McConnell? Graham? Who leads the Republicans?

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 14, 2012 - 1:00 am

    OK, Catherine, I'll play . . . Please consider my MMA event with Cookie . . . venue - the new RedHawk entertainment stage due to open in December . . . LINK - Susana Martinez - LINK - Marco Rubio - LINK - Paul Ryan

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 14, 2012 - 1:02 am

    LINK - Susana Martinez - LINK - Marco Rubio - LINK - Paul Ryan

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