Take your party back, please | Ott Observations

My very first letter to the Republic-Times was an appeal to my Republican neighbors after the 2020 election. 

I’d like to make another appeal. Please restore the Republican Party back to its traditional, common sense, conservative values.

Our government was designed for dissent, believing a diversity of views would result in respectful dialogue, practical compromise and ultimately the best solutions to problems which must be resolved. 

Progressive, liberal, conservative, populist and libertarian perspectives all have value and none are inherently evil. 

Our problem is that the current Republican Party no longer offers thoughtful, conservative insights.

The “Law and Order Party” sits mute while a president refuses to accept the result of an election. A Congressman blatantly lies to get elected and his party’s silence is deafening. 

The “Strong Defense Party” sits mute while a president makes friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin and exposes covert spies who risked their lives to serve our defense. This president bartered important military aid to Ukraine for political favor and his party’s silence was deafening.

The “Personal Freedom and Minimal Government Interference Party” now passes laws anointing political hacks with the power to interfere in our medical decisions, our study of history, and our access to what we want to read. 

The current Republican Party hasn’t had a platform in years. In the place of ideas and plans, they’ve substituted narcissistic media personality, name-calling and irrelevant culture wars.

George Will is one of the most respected conservative opinion columnists in the world. He is regularly featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch despite the liberal bias for which the newspaper is accused. 

When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, Will resigned from the Republican Party. In his perspective, the party had devolved into a cult, enthralled with a person and empty of any pragmatic plans or ideas.

Nicolle Wallace spent most of her career serving Republican leaders such as Jeb and George W. Bush. She was a senior advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign and was assigned to coach Sarah Palin, his running mate.

Palin’s stunning lack of knowledge and unwillingness to learn frightened Wallace enough to keep her from voting for McCain. She began to be what she described as a “self-loathing Republican.”

Today, Wallace has a two-hour weekday show on MSNBC. No, she doesn’t promote wild-eyed progressive schemes. She uses her show to challenge the logic of current Republican actions or lack of action.

Example: a Fox News poll indicates over 80 percent of Americans favor some common sense gun laws in response to the daily mass-killing carnage. She challenges Republican leaders who say they can’t do anything.

Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney were Republican members who served on the House investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol while our election was being certified. They were called out as “RINOs” and “traitors” by other Republicans. 

Both openly and frequently stated that defending the Constitution was far more important than pandering to popularity with Republicans in order to get re-elected.

Neither was re-elected, but they stood up for the Constitution when it was under attack. And they have called out all their Republican colleagues as cowards for not joining them.

There is nothing wrong with being a loyal, life-long Republican, even continuing a family voting tradition. The problem is that party no longer exists. 

Will called Republican Party loyalty “loyal as lobotomy,” because it no longer stands up to reason. However repugnant, immoral or illegal, there is nothing that will cause a Republican to be called out by his/her party. We’ve seen that repeatedly over the last several years.

Your country needs you now to stand up like Will, Wallace, Kinzinger and Cheney. How? In the next election, you need to either not vote or just vote for Democrats. 

It will take an epic beating at national and state levels for this Republican Party to realize it needs to get back to its roots of serious and responsible governance. 

The trend has already started, losing the White House, Senate, governor seats and barely getting a House majority in the recent mid-term election.

Finish the job. The sooner we get back to Republicans that can govern, and have the courage to do what is right when it is not popular, we will all be better for it – as will our country.

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Bill Ott

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