Written by Dr. Mary Theresa (Terry) Webb, West Lampeter. This piece was first published here, the LancasterSpeaksUp.com blog, on January 8,2021 with permission from the author. It has been submitted to LancasterOnline/LNP for consideration as a Letter to the Editor.
The Republican party has historically stood for upholding the Constitution, standing for free elections, integrity and courage. These are the principles our former governor, Richard Thornburgh, lived out when he was governor from 1979-1987. Our current Republican representative, Lloyd Smucker, has negated everything that Richard Thornburgh represented and worked for as a Republican in public office. Smucker’s low blow to Republicanism came when he was one of eight Pennsylvania congressmen to opposed the recent presidential election certifications.
On January 1, 2021, I retrieved my souvenir “Thornburgh for Governor” glass and drank a toast to Richard Thornburgh who died the night before on New Year’s Eve. Dick and Ginny were neighbors when we lived in Pittsburgh and our children were toddlers. We mourned with Dick when he lost Ginny in a terrible car accident and their infant son, Peter, was injured. We were present when he was introduced to another Ginny, who became his second wife three years later. With Ginny, Dick took on the cause of advocacy for the disabled, culminating in the passage of the 1990 Disability Act. Dick led the Commonwealth as Governor for two terms. He then moved to Washington where he was chosen by two presidents to be Attorney General, tackling injustice and corruption as head of the Justice Department.
Today, Smucker and other Republican politicians, both in Pennsylvania and Washington, would do well to examine how far they have veered from historic Republican principles. For example, Senator Scott Martin in Harrisburg questions global warming and Congressman Smucker prefers to follow the whims and dictates of his party’s mob boss, Donald Trump. In enabling and following Trump, our current Republican elected politicians dishonor the party, defy the Constitution, believe in conspiracy theories, and turn a blind eye to corruption and injustice. In memory of Richard Thornburgh, the current Republican party needs to return to historic Republican principles.
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