Republicans lost their way

Reader Input
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Re: “Government hungry for more,” (Reader Input, Dec. 24). It is difficult, Jon (Errek), to always make a distinction between “good” government programs and “bad” ones, for one person’s essential program is another’s pork. Ah, the programs that you and I admire – the moon landings, the interstates, the national parks – were criticized in their time for being too expensive and unnecessary. (No doubt McClintock would have called them “socialism.”) Working for government, I saw a lot of wasteful spending and extravagance – by Republicans as well as Democrats. I believe there is a need for a party to serve as a watchdog over government and put a brake on this tendency to grow. Unfortunately, the Republicans are no longer this party. It is not the least bit concerned with the abuses of the large corporations. Instead, it seems content to be a party of angry people shouting simple solutions to complex problems, a party that constantly bashes government and “the liberal media,” bashes immigrants and gay rights, bashes public schools, and will never do anything contrary to the wishes of its base of the sectarian religious right and hard-core gun lovers. These words may be offensive to some. The Barry Goldwaters, the Everett Dirksens, the Pete McCloskeys have all left the Republican Party to Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, the Rupert Murdocks and the Tom McClintocks. And our country is the worse for it. LARRY SMITH, Auburn