Your Turn: The Republican Party has become ‘uninhabitable’

Sometimes renting a dumpster is the best way to show that you care. It is time to show the GOP some love and rent a dumpster for the driveway of the House of Trump, formerly known as the Republican Party.

I’m a fifth-generation Kansan and (former) Republican who has reached this realization. It’s not just the madness of Trump. It is the morally vacant silence of what used to pass for “normal” Republicans.

A party that used to stand for fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and good but limited government has become a freak show that doesn’t even bother to go through the motions of passing a party platform. Why bother? The party stands for “whatever he said” in referencing Trump. In a word, the party has become “uninhabitable.”

That was the word a less than thoughtful real estate agent shared with my family as she surveyed the house our parents had called home for 61 years. Not seeing love and memories but rather years of delayed maintenance and clutter, the agent could only mutter “it’s uninhabitable.” Exaggerated? Sure. Necessary? Yes.

That is when the “dumpster moment” arrived. The only way to help the house was to clear it out from attic to basement. It wasn’t fun and it was emotionally draining, but it was the right thing to do for our family house to become a loving home once again.

That is where the GOP is. To make it a party inhabitable by more than an ever-shrinking number of those who take comfort in seeming constant anger at anything not white, male or old. I happen to be all those things and I think I can be delightful, but they are not good exclusive ingredients for a political party.

The only thing that will allow the GOP to renew itself as a sensible and constructive center-right party is for those of us who care for it to throw the enabling Republican office holders into the electoral dumpster. Only a thorough cleansing will push the party to the realization that voter suppression is not a viable long-term strategy. Maybe the GOP will then be open to people with differing views on a few issues but united by a philosophy of fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, good but limited governance, plus welcoming diversity. Not using diversity to splinter us but embracing diversity for the strength it brings.

To those who agree Donald Trump must go but are nervous about the Democrats taking over all three branches, I say, “It’s just for two years.” Yes, I worry about the Democrats mirroring the Republicans and flying off their left edge. Yes, extreme liberals bring as much “joy” to life as do extreme conservatives. Yet, all House members and a third of the Senate will face election in 2022. If the Democrats take all three branches and slip into a socialist delirium, the moderate Democrats who give them their majority can be tossed out in two years.

If we elect moderate Democrats, these moderates will be the reason for the Democrats’ majority and the controlling anchor that will keep them from going off the rails. It is what the Republican Party used to understand when conservatives such as Bob Dole knew very well that his Senate majority was dependent on all members of the party, not just a select group from one ideological corner.

Anyone who has gone through the stressful experience of clearing out the house they grew up in knows what I mean about the “dumpster moment.” It is painful yet you know it’s the right thing to do. Please help the GOP by voting them out. They can then have some quality time to themselves to rethink what being an “inhabitable” political party means in this great and diverse country.

— Scott Morgan is an independent statistical editor in Lawrence and served on the staffs of Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, Sen. Bob Dole and Gov. Mike Hayden.

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