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What has happened to the party of Eisenhower? | READER COMMENTARY

I write this as someone who as a youngster (and with my parents’ blessing) sold chocolate chip cookies door to door in Roland Park to raise money for Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s second term campaign while singing, “I Like Ike. And Ike is Easy To Like.” And I write this remembering our Republican Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin as an esteemed friend of my late wife’s family. My father-in-law, one of the most decent men I ever knew, served a term as a Republican in the New Jersey state legislature.

With that as my background, I ask: What has caused the Republican Party I used to know as generally patriotic and mentally stable to vote against veteran’s health benefits, to nominate candidates to be Maryland’s next governor and attorney general with grotesquely distorted views of the last presidential election and 9/11, and to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with religious nationalists who lied about their views regarding Roe v. Wade but then voted to overturn it anyway when reputable polls show two-thirds of our country was against the idea (”Maryland GOP goes down the right-wing rabbit hole,” July 20)?

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Now, I don’t worry about the country. I worry instead about our two-party democracy and if there will even be a Republican Party in a few years. As someone with memories of Republican parents and parents-in-law who were patriots and believers in democracy and knew better than to try to legally inflict their religious beliefs on others, I find it sad to see where they would be trapped in today’s political climate. But I had better close before a brick with “socialist” comes through the window.

— Stan Heuisler, Baltimore

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