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.
HARRY N. ZELINKA