Many seasoned political commentators agree: Take a good look at today’s Republican Party. The way things are going, before too long, it won’t exist anymore.
This battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party is nothing new. There have always been reactionary forces, like Barry Goldwater, who tried to drag the GOP so far to the right it lost touch with the vast majority of American voters.
But, until today, they were never successful. Saner voices prevailed.
I experienced this firsthand. My first political job was serving as chief of staff to a California state senator from Marin County named Peter Behr, a Nelson Rockefeller-Republican. One of the most respected politicians in the state, Behr’s most determined political enemies were not Democrats but Republicans from the far right wing of the party, who believed he was too willing to compromise.
As a young Democrat, I was still proud to work for a Republican because this socially moderate, fiscally conservative party actually delivered on many important issues.
Former President Dwight Eisenhower, for example, built the federal highway system, established the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve. Richard Nixon delivered the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act. Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 3.2 million illegal immigrants. George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. George W. Bush raised the minimum wage and added prescription drug benefits to Medicare.
But that’s not the case today.
Riding a wave of anti-Washington sentiment, outsiders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz dominate the field.
So far, no Republican leader has called to ask for my advice. But here it is anyway: Convince all other establishment candidates to drop out and unite behind one and stop saying they’d accept Trump or Cruz as the party’s nominee.
In other words, do whatever it takes to prevent Trump or Cruz from getting the nomination. The future of the Republican Party depends on it.