Letter: We need two parties, but not ‘cult of Trump’


A healthy democratic country has to have at least two viable political parties. For that reason alone all of us should be concerned that the Republican party has painted itself into a corner.

In Washington state, the Republican party censured Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse for voting to impeach President Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 violence at the Congress.

The party asserted that Republican concerns about election fraud had not been taken seriously and that there was little evidence that the former president contributed to the insurrection.

These two claims fly in the face of massive evidence to the contrary.

Further actions followed from this strange Republican flight from reality.

For example, a member of the Island County Republican Party wrote a letter co-signed by a dozen others and sent it to the South Whidbey School Board complaining that it was wrong for a teacher to say that Trump contributed to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

She further asserted that Black Lives Matter is run by Marxists, the same misleading criticism that was directed at the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

The letter referenced news outlets like the Daily Caller that, to put it politely, are very selective in their news coverage.

I wonder what the children of these Republicans will think when they leave home, or do a Google search, and discover that their parents were busy defending the indefensible; further, that they censured courageous Republicans like Newhouse and Herrera Beutler who stand on principle by putting the Constitution ahead of party.

We really do need a Republican party, a party that Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush would recognize and that is not afraid to face hard facts and engage in self-criticism.

On the basis of honest reflections and close examination of evidence, realistic Republicans could come up with thoughtful solutions to the multiple problems we confront.

However, I am afraid that such a constructive movement is not likely to emerge for several years and that in the meantime we are stuck with the cult of Trump.

Steen Halling


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