To the editor: Orange County’s Republican members of Congress lost their jobs for the most common of reasons: They disdained their constituents.
I joined the effort to unseat my congresswoman, Mimi Walters, only after she and her staff repeatedly rebuffed efforts to discuss community concerns with voters. As a result, she was defeated by a coalition of the ignored — voters with simple priorities including reduced gun violence, affordable healthcare, a livable environment and more.
Orange County still boasts more registered Republicans than Democrats, but folks on all sides want representatives that take their marching orders from constituents instead of GOP leadership and big donors.
Alexa Foster, Coto de Caza
To the editor: Whatever the Republican Party stood for in the past, it’s gone.
From Richard Nixon’s “silent majority” to Proposition 187 to President Trump and his band of torch bearers and birthers, the Republican Party has never accepted the fact that many Latino and African American families are fairly conservative and would fit nicely in a conservative, small-government, small-deficit movement.
But instead of seizing opportunities to embrace these constituencies, the Republicans have moved toward white victimization and in some cases outright hostility toward minorities.
So, now the bastion of conservatism in Orange County is gone. As we move on, let’s hope the Democrats will be the adults we’ve wanted to run government. If the Republicans want to regain power in places like Orange County, they will have to show that they are willing to be grown-ups and want to govern, not rule.
Larry Margo, Valley Village
To the editor: This article on Orange County’s rebuke of the Republican Party makes me optimistic.
On the one hand, Republican strategist Stuart K. Spencer attributes the congressional flips to demographic changes. He doesn’t seem to appreciate the revulsion toward Trump felt by many in the traditional Orange County GOP demographic.
On the other hand, another GOP strategist says he left the party because of Trump.
Reading this, my hope is that at least two branches of the GOP tree will sprout: Those who think their party cannot win without Trump, and others who believe they should push the president aside.
If they’ve already sprouted, great. May they grow and prosper and annihilate each other. The political center of this country will then shift leftward, sort of like in our polite neighbor to the north.
A fantasy? Who knows?
Claude Goldenberg, Seal Beach
To the editor: The idea that demographic shifts are responsible for the changes in Orange County does not tell the whole story.
Longtime conservatives have become increasingly disenchanted with the Republican Party. Many Asians and Latinos gravitate toward the GOP, including members of the Vietnamese community who feel the Republicans got them to the U.S.
Both minority and white Republicans have been leaving the GOP and have registered as independents. My father was a Reagan Republican, but he no longer believes in a party that he says has lost its soul. Please do not simplify the story into demographic groups voting against each other.
Nancy Kiang, La Crescenta