LETTER: State of the party

Janette Labbee

To the editor:

As the election nears, many of us have taken advantage of the mail-in option to vote, offered by County Clerk Janet Klasinski. Thank you for your vision and integrity in making voting easier in our time of COVID-19.

Leavenworth County continues to fail to mandate masks, unlike the majority of counties and Fort Leavenworth that surround us. This shows in our continued increase in COVID-19 cases. I recently read that Linwood has 391 residents. According a Leavenworth County Health Department map, they have 235 cases.

Why are we trending in this direction? I believe it is political. Leavenworth County has not always been a Republican county. For many years we had a good mix of Republicans and Democrats representing us. This changed in the last 10-15 years and the Leavenworth County Republican Party has turned into a dominating, pressure driven party which has lost its common sense. I am one of many local Republicans that will not succumb to the pressure and plan to speak out against their bullying.

When I joined the party in the late 1980s, the platform included things for the greater good – protecting Social Security, Medicare, working with unions to improve labor laws and looking for fiscally responsible ways to get things done.

No more. The party has gone off the rails and is no longer a party of the people. I have spoken to several local business people over recent weeks who tell me they will never vote Republican again. They have received no assistance from our present representatives who are only focused on maintaining control and not listening to their concerns about lost business during these difficult times. In fact several said they haven’t set eyes on Sen. Braun or Rep. David French for months as they are too busy attending Republican functions to be out on the streets communicating with small businesses.

Based on the demeaning and disgusting fliers and postcards that are arriving in my mail box, the candidates for our state offices are much too busy putting the opposition down rather than building their constituencies up.

Recently I was asked by a lady at the market what was on the Republican platform for 2020. I stated that they chose not to adopt a platform after the 2020 convention, to which she responded, “but we’ve always stood for honesty and integrity and right to life.” Then she asked me why all Democrats believe in abortion. I stated that I have Democratic friends who are not in favor of abortion, but they are in favor of women’s rights, which means that a woman has the right to make choices for herself.

It is a tragedy that the Republican Party has shifted so far away from the house of Lincoln.

Honest Abe is nowhere to be seen. Vicious fliers on cars in church parking lots do not endear the party to those of us that still remain on the edge, hoping for a return to greatness. Until that happens I will continue to wear proudly my RINO T-shirt and love my brother and sister as myself.