Letters to the Editor

Letter: A proud RINO

I am a registered Republican voter, yet I drive a plug-in hybrid car and support Lisa Murkowski. As best as I can gather from the candidate endorsements by the Alaska Republican Party, these two factors alone are enough to establish my Alaska Republican-in-name-only, or RINO, label.

The present Alaska Republican Party is contrary to all laudable Alaskan and national Republican traditions, and it should truthfully be named the Alaskan Radical Trumpian Party, or ARTP, because its only defining characteristic is blind fealty to Donald Trump, the narcissistic former president who would be king. The ARTP falsely claims to be “conservative.” Per Webster, political conservatism is defined as “tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions.”How can undermining the legitimacy of the Supreme Court by packing it with Christian fundamentalist ideologues be considered conservative? Does not our Constitution mandate separation of church from state? The resulting overturn of Roe v. Wade, law of the land for 49 years, is radical rather than conservative.

Is fomenting and excusing the Jan. 6 insurrection representative of American Republican conservativism? Does not the Constitution enshrine the presidency as an elective office with a well-defined peaceful transition of power? Would Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, or either George Bush support an American coup d’état?

The ARTP, like Trump, demands absolute loyalty. Any break, such as Murkowski’s courageous vote for Trump’s impeachment, earns an elected Republican congressperson the RINO label. So be it; they should wear that as proudly as the Congressional Medal of Honor. Totalitarianism is not an American conservative Republican value. Lincoln packed his cabinet with men of different political stripes; this saved the republic. A demand of absolute adherence to a cult of personality is more characteristic of Soviet Bolsheviks than American Republicans.

The ARTP has co-opted and perverted the terms Republican and conservative. Being an American traditional Republican, I cannot bear to rank any of the ARTP’s endorsed candidates for governor or Congress.

— Steve Tower


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