Jennifer Finley Boylan is dismayed that Donald Trump has usurped the longstanding traditions of the Grand Old Party:
First, my party supports civil rights. It was Ulysses S. Grant, the second Republican president, who fought for and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which gave African-Americans equal treatment in public accommodations and public transportation and prohibited their exclusion from jury service. In his spare time, Grant also wiped out the earliest version of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Trump Party, meanwhile, casts its eyes upon white supremacists and neo-Nazis and declares them “very fine people.”
This is truly a 180 degree turn on the part of Trump! The fact that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was struck down by a Republican-dominated Supreme Court after less than a decade of little enforcement is particularly central to her point.
My party supports national health care, of the sort created by the Republicans’ 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, while he was governor of Massachusetts.
The Trump Party believes in destroying the Affordable Care Act, which has brought health insurance to 20 million Americans since 2010, and replacing it with nothing.
If only Mitt Romney, when he ran for president, had health care proposals, so we could see if the Republican Party favors health care reform of the kind that was passed by veto-proof supermajorities of Massachusetts Democrats while Romney was governor! For that matter, I wish Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had let Republicans vote on the ACA so where we could have seen where they stand on it.
My party stands for protecting the environment, like Theodore Roosevelt (father of our national parks system), like Richard Nixon (founder of the Environmental Protection Agency), like a generation of Republican leaders — from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush — who endorsed the policy of cap-and-trade as a business-friendly means of reducing carbon emissions.
We need to return to the principled environmentalism of the guy who put James Watt in charge of the EPA!
I’m reminded of Roy’s riff about “Tony Blair Democrats,” who were oddly identical to “George Bush Republicans”:
I, Roy Edroso, am a loyal Republican. And I’d really like to vote for a Republican someday. But how can I, with the current batch of greedy, stupid Republicans? They are not at all like the real Republicans with whom I grew up — men like John Lindsay and “Fightin’ Bob” La Follette.
Today, I consider myself a Nelson Mandela Republican. By which I mean, until the Republican party returns to its roots and embraces abortion rights, national health insurance, legalization of drugs, gay marriage, and doubling the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts, I will by God vote for the Democrats, difficult as that is for an old GOP loyalist such as myself.