Editorial: An electoral shock to the system needed to save GOP

As has been the case since the earliest days of The Times, we had planned to make endorsements in all of the 2018 elections.

We expected, again, to endorse a combination of Democratic and Republican candidates — based entirely on who we saw as likely serving as the best possible public servants. While we often did not agree with a candidate’s ideology, we were able to credit work ethic, honesty and dedication as making them the superior candidate.

But 2018 is a unique time in the history of American politics.

While some would try to paint a false equivalency that both of our major parties are bad, lacking ethics and are slaves to electoral expediency, we find ourselves unable to agree.

One party has been gripped by a mania, a cancer, and seems unwilling or unable to return to its roots, and instead panders to fear, anger and the worst instincts of a minority of its members: the Republican Party.

Yes, one can complain about the words and actions of President Donald Trump, but we’re not particularly focused on him, rather we see him as a symptom of a growing illness, a quest for power without consideration of morals or principle that has infected the Republican Party for more than a decade and has now reached a breaking point.

We, like many, felt that eventually the fever would break of its own accord as the party moved farther and farther to the right — reaching the point where many of its members see policies that had broad bipartisan support a decade ago (Food Stamps, Social Security, Medicare and Medicare Part D) as “left-wing, socialist” policies now.

Instead, we find ourselves in a time where rank and file Republicans support — 52% according to a recent poll — placing a man on the Supreme Court, even if it was found that he did commit an alleged attempted rape as a teenager.

We find ourselves in a time where rank and file Republicans support separating young children of asylum seekers from their parents. We find ourselves in a time where Republicans fight and decry court rulings that ended their use of Gerrymandering to rig elections in this commonwealth — complaining that a new map, which still favored the GOP, no longer offered them enough of an advantage. We find ourselves in a world where Republicans aggressively suppress minority voters from Georgia to Kansas because they know they cannot win fair elections. We find ourselves in a time when Republicans cheer attacks on the FBI and our national intelligence community and in some cases overtly obstruct justice in order to stymie ongoing investigations.

This is the time we live in, now.

And when people — normal folks — began to object, in some cases vociferously, to these behaviors, Republicans, even some of our local elected officials, began to complain that people were just going crazy or even being paid to protest. Neither, in the main, is true.

Such protests used to get the immediate attention of party members and elected officials as a quick barometer of political error. But in this era of media echo chambers, where Fox News, Breitbart and sadly, even InfoWars, offers praise for extreme and aberrant behavior, Republicans instead dig in even deeper — witness the fight to jam through Justice Brett Kavanaugh to confirmation on the Supreme Court when other options, such as Pennsylvania’s own Thomas Hardiman, would have sailed through confirmation as easily as Neil Gorsuch.

We know that it is unfair to tar all Republicans with this brush. Many are as dismayed and frustrated as we are with a party that has completely abandoned its core values of social moderation, fiscal conservatism, internationalism and free trade — not to mention the hostile, angry tone that dominates so much of the party’s message these days, a stark contrast to the optimistic, unifying tone of Republican icons such as Ronald Reagan.

At this point, we can only see one way to break the fever: stunning and unprecedented losses at the ballot box. Because of that, we cannot and will not endorse any Republican candidate for office this year.

While such an outcome would mean that some deserving public servants will lose their positions, it is only with a profound electoral loss, a loss that cannot be whitewashed or spun, that we will see the needed shock to the system of the Republican Party.

America needs two functioning parties to provide political balance and steady leadership. America needs a healthy Republican Party, as a counter balance to the occasional excesses of the Democratic Party — something sorely lacking now. If the current path continues unabated, we will see the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

First, we ask that you vote on Nov. 6 — regardless of whether you agree with us or not, your voice should be heard that this crucial time.

Second, regardless of your party, we suggest that you do not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot. We know this is a difficult ask for many, but these times and our democracy cry out for a reset and only staggering losses will get the attention of elected officials and the party’s voter base in a meaningful way.

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One Comment

  1. “This is the future of the GOP under Trump: not a party but a backwater sub-Reddit chasing conspiracies to paper over the Dear Leader’s raging inconsistencies.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/of-course-donald-trump-inspired-cesar-sayocs-terrorism?source=twitter&via=desktop

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