Carroll County Times

Kennedy: Moderate Republican senators should stay and fight

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Early last week, local writer and now syndicated columnist Jules Witcover made a point with which I totally agree. His point was that Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Robert Corker, who have been outspoken in their opposition to President Trump’s agenda and methods, should continue the fight to keep the GOP from becoming an extremist party. Each has announced his plans to forgo a re-election campaign in the face of a probable, well-financed, primary challenge by a candidate backed by the far right.

As a voter I can understand their frustration with the antics of the president and his cadre of sycophants, but now more than ever the Senate needs men of conscience and decency like Sens. Corker and Flake, not to mention Sen. John McCain, to stand up to those who would overthrow the current party leadership. Succumbing to those pressures from the bully pulpit of the White House will only embolden those who would move the party further to the right fringes.


Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart News and former chief strategist in the Trump administration, whose political views are so far to the right that they’re almost to the extreme left, has already all but declared war on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and just about every other moderate Republican from either house.

Republicans, especially in the Senate, need fewer yes-men who follow the president blindly. What is needed are men and women who understand that there may be many ways to solve problems and get legislation passed but those ways do not include “my way or no way.” Those legislators need to develop the backbone of McCain and stand up to those who would demolish the more moderate wing of the party.


I would urge Corker and Flake to reconsider and fight to get re-elected and become the true leaders of the Senate. McCain, unfortunately, may not live to be re-elected and the GOP sorely needs more of his ilk — compassionate, strong-willed but reasonable and with a conscience. There may be some already there, but they are hesitant to take on Trump and his minions for fear of retribution.

As I have stated many times, in government on all levels, compromise is not a four-letter word. Cooperation rather than antagonism will get more done and with benefits for all.

On another subject, a good friend, fellow writer, and regular contributor to the letters to the editor, informed me that my last submission to this space caused quite a stir. I was completely unaware. He told me that after my piece appeared, the paper’s Facebook page exploded with entries, many excoriating me and my opinions. I was and remain blissfully ignorant of any of those. You see, I do not participate in any so-called social media. It’s not the media and as I understand it it’s not that social either. I am not a “twit” and do not tweet since my thoughts, unlike those of the tweeter-in-chief, take way more than 140 characters. I don’t have a Facebook account, nor a Snapchat, or any one of those things. My email address appears at the end of each piece that I submit and those who wish are encouraged to use it, as long as you identify yourself and do so without profanity or personal attacks. You may express your agreement or displeasure with what I have written, simply do it civilly. I make it a habit to respond to each in some way and have developed continuing email relationships with several correspondents who take me to task from time to time. I do hope to hear from some of you.