Editorial: An electoral shock to the system needed to save GOP

As has been the case since the earliest days of The Times, we had planned to make endorsements in all of the 2018 elections.

We expected, again, to endorse a combination of Democratic and Republican candidates — based entirely on who we saw as likely serving as the best possible public servants. While we often did not agree with a candidate’s ideology, we were able to credit work ethic, honesty and dedication as making them the superior candidate.

But 2018 is a unique time in the history of American politics.

While some would try to paint a false equivalency that both of our major parties are bad, lacking ethics and are slaves to electoral expediency, we find ourselves unable to agree.

One party has been gripped by a mania, a cancer, and seems unwilling or unable to return to its roots, and instead panders to fear, anger and the worst instincts of a minority of its members: the Republican Party.

Yes, one can complain about the words and actions of President Donald Trump, but we’re not particularly focused on him, rather we see him as a symptom of a growing illness, a quest for power without consideration of morals or principle that has infected the Republican Party for more than a decade and has now reached a breaking point.

We, like many, felt that eventually the fever would break of its own accord as the party moved farther and farther to the right — reaching the point where many of its members see policies that had broad bipartisan support a decade ago (Food Stamps, Social Security, Medicare and Medicare Part D) as “left-wing, socialist” policies now.

Instead, we find ourselves in a time where rank and file Republicans support — 52% according to a recent poll — placing a man on the Supreme Court, even if it was found that he did commit an alleged attempted rape as a teenager.

We find ourselves in a time where rank and file Republicans support separating young children of asylum seekers from their parents. We find ourselves in a time where Republicans fight and decry court rulings that ended their use of Gerrymandering to rig elections in this commonwealth — complaining that a new map, which still favored the GOP, no longer offered them enough of an advantage. We find ourselves in a world where Republicans aggressively suppress minority voters from Georgia to Kansas because they know they cannot win fair elections. We find ourselves in a time when Republicans cheer attacks on the FBI and our national intelligence community and in some cases overtly obstruct justice in order to stymie ongoing investigations.

This is the time we live in, now.

And when people — normal folks — began to object, in some cases vociferously, to these behaviors, Republicans, even some of our local elected officials, began to complain that people were just going crazy or even being paid to protest. Neither, in the main, is true.

Such protests used to get the immediate attention of party members and elected officials as a quick barometer of political error. But in this era of media echo chambers, where Fox News, Breitbart and sadly, even InfoWars, offers praise for extreme and aberrant behavior, Republicans instead dig in even deeper — witness the fight to jam through Justice Brett Kavanaugh to confirmation on the Supreme Court when other options, such as Pennsylvania’s own Thomas Hardiman, would have sailed through confirmation as easily as Neil Gorsuch.

We know that it is unfair to tar all Republicans with this brush. Many are as dismayed and frustrated as we are with a party that has completely abandoned its core values of social moderation, fiscal conservatism, internationalism and free trade — not to mention the hostile, angry tone that dominates so much of the party’s message these days, a stark contrast to the optimistic, unifying tone of Republican icons such as Ronald Reagan.

At this point, we can only see one way to break the fever: stunning and unprecedented losses at the ballot box. Because of that, we cannot and will not endorse any Republican candidate for office this year.

While such an outcome would mean that some deserving public servants will lose their positions, it is only with a profound electoral loss, a loss that cannot be whitewashed or spun, that we will see the needed shock to the system of the Republican Party.

America needs two functioning parties to provide political balance and steady leadership. America needs a healthy Republican Party, as a counter balance to the occasional excesses of the Democratic Party — something sorely lacking now. If the current path continues unabated, we will see the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

First, we ask that you vote on Nov. 6 — regardless of whether you agree with us or not, your voice should be heard that this crucial time.

Second, regardless of your party, we suggest that you do not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot. We know this is a difficult ask for many, but these times and our democracy cry out for a reset and only staggering losses will get the attention of elected officials and the party’s voter base in a meaningful way.

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  1. Nicole says:

    All of this, yes. Thank you

  2. Adam says:

    I find it funny that your June 12th editorial was about how readership and advertising dollars are down. Then you post garbage like this. People read to be informed of facts and/or to be entertained. You also said any suggestions would be welcomed. Maybe instead of pushing your political agenda, which pisses off and deters readers and advertisers, you should get back to the basics of reporting the news. You probably had a chance to save the paper, but based on your last statement above I would guess that you will see even more of a drop in ads. I can’t speak for all, but I know that my company will be pulling it’s advertising dollars ASAP.

    • Mike McGann says:

      Kind of hard to pull ads you don’t have — but you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.

  3. Jen says:

    Your editorial is fraught with ignorance, misinformation and stereotyping of Republicans. You are also apparently bought and paid for by democrats to ask your readers not to vote for one Republican on the ballot.

    What we should all be concerned about is this isn’t news, or reporting, it is spin doctoring. And yes it is an opinion, and I will watch to see what advertisers stick with you and avoid them.

    I could address, dispute and prove your ignorance on many of your erroneous comments but all it proves to me is that you don’t care to find the truth.

    Just one:
    ” policies that had broad bipartisan support a decade ago (Food Stamps, Social Security, Medicare and Medicare Part D) as “left-wing, socialist” policies now.”

    These programs have been expanded, have no accountability and have increased our taxes in PA. Governor Corbett decided not to increase our taxes when a federal subsidy ran out for medicaid. Tom Wolf immediately increased our taxes and expanded the already fraudulent mismanaged program. Your opinion is idealistic that people on food stamps are embarrassed and want to get off – that was true in my family as well because I came from a working family.

    I am a lifelong criminal investigator and can tell you that the facts are available if you care to find the facts. Each of these entitlements have issues I could address. Medicaid for instance – funds come from our federal dollars to the states. State taxes also fund the programs. The state outsources without any accountability. So what you find is fraud. The issue is systemic, the way the dollars are issued and accountability. In my investigations I could not help but notice the welfare recipients received more care than I could have paid for as a working person. Maybe the level of support should equal minimum wage.

    I do not support increasing minimum wage because common sense is that increases the price of everything so it doesn’t really help someone to make more money but pay more for goods.

    I have questioned people as to why they stay on welfare and the response I received is they make out better than if they had to work, get transportation to work, get clothing for work etc. I completely understand the answer and it makes sense and those were generation after generation of welfare recipients.

    This is not an issue of helping those in need it is an issue of raising the bar so high that there is so much fraud that those who work and pay taxes are dwindling numbers but those on the take are increasing – common sense.

    The welfare to work program, another waste of taxpayer money. This is where a person has to attempt to get a job in order to stay on welfare. Checklist – apply for a job. Okay I apply (but I really don’t want to work, this is just an exercise, I play the game). Now get career clothing. So women have donated career clothes. The welfare recipient picks an outfit that would never fit her but gets to check another mark. Next go to the interview, don’t try to get the job, don’t get hired and – okay back on welfare.

    Bill Clinton wanted to get people off the welfare rolls so he incentivized the states. The opportunists went to the states and promised the states if you pay us we will get people off welfare. What they did was get people on Supplemental Security Income, or SSDI.

    Bait and switch. If people want to find out the truth they must do research from reliable sources.

    • Don Hill says:

      Great response and to the point reply!
      You don’t need a thermal lens to see through the smoke at the fire generated by the untruths in this lunatic fringe left wing opinion article.
      Thank you again Mike for exposing the true colors of liberal journalism!

  4. Don Hill says:

    Hmmm… if any of the content concerning those dastardly republicans in this opinion article you penned were true, it would be enough to cause concern within that political party, but it is not. You were both crafty and disingenuous to begin your political spew with catchy words like work ethic, honesty and dedication. After setting up your readers, you build an attack on the republican party based on numerous untruths that have become the democrats’ desperate strategy to win elections. At one point in your presentation of innuendos, you insert Ronald Reagan into the mix as a hook.

    Again, very crafty of you.

    I will close by saying that it appears that the democratic party will successfully implode if they continue running on socialist type politics and promising everything from FREE healthcare, education, entitlements, etc. Good Luck!

    And, thank you for proving my point through your deceptive, if eloquent writing skills.

  5. Frank Corberts says:

    Thank you, well said. Moral Republicans (I consider myself one) should vote against the party to restore it to its true mission. Further, I’m disgusted by my party’s suppression of the vote nationwide under the “voter fraud” hoax. I can’t believe this is the party that claims to love Reagan. He must be rolling over in his grave.

  6. Mike Gill says:

    A few comments? That is only because your unknown little bullshit editorial is not worthy of wiping someone’s ass. Just listened to you sit there and spit typical psycho liberal rhetoric on the radio. Trump is NOT a symptom, he is effectively our version of a cure for worthless people like you. You sit and call the lunatic mob mentality of your disgusting party “protest” and talk about how extreme conservatives are?

    The Republican party has been high-jacked? No stupid…try again. Go back to 2012 and the Ron Paul revolution, we took our party back. We were tired of RINO nut jobs like Paul Ryan and the like running our party so we are kicking them out. We are doing so to rid ourselves of trash like you….

  7. Donald Trump says:

    Your president (Donald J. Trump) lives rent-free inside your tiny head, Mike.

  8. JJ Ward says:

    This farce is the epitome of irresponsible journalism, and you should be embarrassed. I’ll sit back and watch you play a game of “Where did our advertising dollars go?”

  9. Jay Cunningham says:

    What is the one thing worse than the Russian government interfering in our elections?
    The AMERICAN government interfering in our elections! But since both the American AND
    the Russian government worked with Hillary Clinton & the Democrats, why am I not at all
    surprised that you criticize attempts to get to the bottom of what the government was up
    to? Isn’t that what Congressional oversight is supposed to do? Asked differently, am I a)nuts or b)just a bigot, for wondering how Hillary Clinton’s classified emails ended up Anthony Weiner’s pervert computer? If I say I am opposed to open borders and in favor of voter ID laws, does that make me a bigot? After all, the TSA demands you prove who you are, before boarding an airplane; Are they bigots, too?
    I think society should have a safety net, but people should never be encouraged to seek public
    assistance, over work. Is that being cold hearted? I think in order to take advantage of affirmative action programs, you must be more than 1/64th to 1/1024th of the group getting the set-aside. Does that make me a bigot?

    As far as I can tell, Democrats do not have an alternative vision on how to increase employment and lower health care costs. All they have is hate. And when some nutjob sends pipebombs to Trump haters, are we all supposed to forget the 24/7 of Trump-hating news, and the open contempt you and other Democrats have shown 60 million Trump voters, every day for the last two years?

  10. Eric Roe says:

    Thanks Mike. Duly noted!

  11. Terry Paula Hoffman says:

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your exquisitely expressed editorial. It is being shared on Facebook everywhere for its extraordinary content value.

    Thank you again from a reader, who has been volunteering by canvassing door-to-door to get out the vote, regardless of political party affiliation.

  12. Tom Broido says:

    There will always be a lunatic fringe in America, as there is in almost every country. Most of those people are beyond the reach of reason. My growing despair is that we may never again be able to get the rest of us under one roof again. It is the otherwise decent people who could save this nation. But can we?

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