LETTER: Republican values

Vicky Kaaz

To the editor:

In 1976, the bicentennial of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, I participated in my first general election. Making the decision as to which political party I would join was not easy. I was raised in a two-party home and had learned early on how to compare and contrast the party platforms. I also learned how to stand behind my principles by listening to and learning about the point of view of others. I learned that it was OK to agree to disagree and still maintain civil, caring and loving relationships. In the end, I chose the Republican Party, the “Party of Lincoln.” It was a proud moment for my dad, a career military officer and lifelong Republican. I was his only child to do so.

During the 40 years that followed, both my dad and I proudly supported our party’s commitment to inclusion, equality, civil rights, justice and tolerance, while embracing the need for fiscal and social responsibility. Like my parents did for me, I raised my children to be caring, respectful, independent, critical thinkers and to appreciate diverse thinking. I also taught my children that it’s impossible to defend your own beliefs if you fail to examine the beliefs of others.

Over the past decade, I have watched changes in the Republican Party that I find difficult to ignore. Several of the values I care so much about seem to have been seriously compromised. Fringe elements have found their way into my party. Many members of the party have sacrificed integrity for a win at all cost attitude. Some are downright spiteful, deceptive and hateful. Some have even turned on and attacked their own members.

Many would ask, if I feel this way, why would I remain in the Republican Party? The simple answer is that I actually stand for long held Republican Party beliefs, standards and values. All of them.

Those values don’t include relying on alternative facts, creating doubt in our electoral process, exploiting or creating distrust and/or excusing unethical, immoral, irrational behavior. I refuse to allow those who don’t even know or have forgotten the history of the Republican Party to push me out. Were he alive today, my dad would be proud of me for standing up to those who are threatening the basic foundation of the Republican Party.