Why I’m not a Republican any more

I got a letter from Falmouth, Maine the other day. It was the first of the sixty or so I received from my fundraising mailing that didn’t contain a donation. Instead I found a letter from a fellow who had once contributed to Let Duluth Vote and our lawsuit who told me that he left Duluth because he was “fed up with the smug chumps.” He said of his friends left behind: “Well now they’re being shafted by the RED PLAN, but I’m not!” To this he adds: “Its sad that you’ve gone DFL. Look at you’re DFL colleagues . . . how can you be one of them?”

The answer is that in spirit I’m more Lincoln than Democrat. But even Lincoln worked hard to pull a party out of disperate parts, No Nothings (anti immigrant), ex Whigs (big government), Free Soilers (abolitionists), Anti Slave Democrats (who simply didn’t want the Supreme Court to rule that slavery could be legalized in all states). In his second presidential campaign he chose a Democrat, the much criticized Andrew Johnson, to be his running mate. How about that for a big tent?

Today’s GOP insiders are doing their best to keep the GOP a small tent. Read this about the conservative, South Carolina Senator, Lindsey Graham, and tell me I should have stuck around. He’s being hung in effigy by the GOP’s Circular firing squad. C F Squads is how Democrats used to describe what they did to each other. At least I heard Lincoln’s name invoked and his wonderful quotation read aloud about ours being a government “of the people for the people and by the people” at the last DFL function I attended. As long as Abe is quoted somewhere even on the lips of folks in the other party our nation shall not perish from the Earth.

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