A New Party for Principled Republicans?


To the Editor:

Re “Will Trump Force Principled Conservatives to Start Their Own Party? I Hope So,” by Thomas L. Friedman (column, Dec. 23):

Your column said it perfectly, Mr. Friedman. I left the Republican Party because of Donald Trump. I wouldn’t vote for any of the Republicans who backed him to the end. But I cheered those who finally stood up to him and the awful things he keeps trying to do to our country for his own ego. It gave me faith in our country’s future.

Republicans need a new party sans anything Mr. Trump or his heirs (oh, please) and sans any cowardly Republican followers. Give me faith in my country again, please.

Barb Heinlein
Malta, Mont.

To the Editor:

Mr. Friedman is living in that alternate universe where “principled conservatives” still reside. In this world, they have long gone the way of the dodo bird.

Donald Trump was the result, not the cause, of the disintegration of the Republican moral code. From the Southern strategy during the fight for passage of the Civil Rights Act to Barry Goldwater’s overt racism, from Richard Nixon’s dirty tricks to Ronald Reagan’s welfare queens, from Newt Gingrich’s mandate to treat Democrats as the enemy to Mitch McConnell’s pretzel-twisting logic to steal a seat on the Supreme Court, the six-decade trajectory of this party has been in only one direction.

Donald Trump was merely an accumulation of all the ills the Republican Party has long demonstrated. It is past time we waited for a different kind of Republican. Santa Claus and the Easter bunny are not real, Mr. Friedman. Neither is the kind of Republican you imagine.

Robert S. Nussbaum
Great Barrington, Mass.

To the Editor:

Thomas L. Friedman’s call for “principled” Republicans to “break away and start their own conservative party” in opposition to President Trump calls to mind what the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Hofstadter once said: “Third parties are like bees: Once they have stung, they die.”

Thomas Vinciguerra
Garden City, N.Y.

To the Editor:

I concur with Thomas L. Friedman’s assessment of the current state of the Republican Party. Post-Trump, it could split in two factions: principled Republicans versus unprincipled, i.e., Trumpist Republicans.

But I wish Mr. Friedman had gone one step further in his analysis to include the Democratic Party. Our democracy is certain to fail in this era of extreme polarization, doomed to produce only gridlocked dysfunction. The leaders of both parties are firmly ensconced in the establishment, comfortable with the status quo, their donor classes and Citizens United.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party must also come to grips with this reality and push for a new principled progressive party. A democracy that must accommodate negotiations between multiple parties has a better chance at governance than our bipartisan dysfunctional one.

Manuel de Lizarriturri
Pueblo, Colo.

To the Editor:

I’m an independent conservative who is both as anti-Trump and anti-progressive Democrat as one can be. Therefore, Mr. Friedman’s column about starting a new political party was music to my ears. Mr. Friedman, please send me an application.

Sander Belkin
Bellmore, N.Y.

To the Editor:

I wonder why we are still locked into two “tribal” parties when there are now more voters who are “independents” than in either of the parties. Isn’t it again time to consider a new political party that isn’t either “conservative Republican” or “liberal Democrat”? Why can’t I be both a fiscal conservative and socially progressive? Why isn’t there a political party committed to debating and voting on specific policies and issues, independent of political allegiance, and not stuck in the idolatry of ideologies?

Hugh M. McElyea
Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

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