A few days ago I received a letter from Tony Parker, treasurer of the Republican National Committee. The letter solicited a political contribution from me. The following is my response to Mr. Parker’s request.
Dear Mr. Parker:
Earlier this week you sent me a letter soliciting a donation to the Republican National Committee. You started your letter by stating, “I don’t want to believe that you’ve abandoned the Republican Party…” Later in the letter you stated, “I hope you haven’t deserted our president and our party.”
Quite to the contrary, it is the Republican Party that has forsaken me and my family.
By way of background, my family arrived in this country as refugees during World War II. When my parents became citizens in 1952, they immediately registered as Republicans.
My mother was extremely active in the Republican Party for many years. She worked for several campaigns. As a child and teenager, I worked with her. As a 9-year-old, I remember the thrill of meeting Richard Nixon, who was the Republican candidate for governor of California in 1962.
Over the years, I have been generous to the Republican Party and to Republican candidates.
In 1989, I had the honor of working with President Reagan, handling the accounting aspects of his transition from office.
Unfortunately, today’s Republican Party is not the Party of Ronald Reagan.
President Reagan famously spoke of the “Evil Empire.” Today, President Trump has bizarre meetings in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin.
The Republican Party historically stood for global leadership as the best way to prevent war and to promote American interests. President Trump has unilaterally walked away from these policies to our long-term detriment.
The Republican Party of Ronald Reagan pursued economic and tax policies that provided an impartial playing field, which allowed the marketplace to direct the flow of capital to sectors that promoted robust economic growth. Conversely, the economic policies promulgated by today’s Republican Party pick winners and losers — catering principally to the special interests who fund Republican political campaigns.
As a CPA who has practiced for 44 years and who has spent a comparable period studying tax policy, I can definitively state that, from both a policy perspective and a technical standpoint, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the poorest tax legislation in my career.
I have a daughter who suffers from cystic fibrosis and a wife who has rheumatoid arthritis. Without the Affordable Care Act, neither would have adequate insurance. The Republicans are in the process of vilifying and dismantling Obamacare, but offer no viable alternatives to the two most important women in my life.
Health care oligopolies profit from our convoluted health care system. We pay more for health care than anywhere else in the world. We have a tax system that favors large corporations and the wealthy — both pay lower taxes than many middle-class families. The Republican Party owns both of these issues.
President Trump has torn up multilateral treaties and seeks to replace them with bilateral agreements that offer fewer benefits to America over the long term. He has an inexplicable fascination with tariffs, which historically have resulted in contractions of the global economy.
Since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, special interests have permeated right-wing think tanks and orthodoxy. Like the proverbial frog who sits in the cooking pot while the fire slowly heats the water until he is cooked, many Republicans have gradually deviated from President Reagan’s perspective to one that unwittingly favors those special interests.
You have asked me to contribute to supporting President Trump’s vision to Make America Great Again. Quite frankly, most of President Trump’s vision horrifies me.
President Reagan was an inspirational leader. President Trump is an insecure, divisive character who is motivated solely by self-gratification.
Several friends and members of my family, including my brother and wife, have re-registered as Democrats. I am not willing to do so, because the Democrats are moving in the direction of Bernie Sanders. I am currently an independent voter.
I am caught in the middle between two political parties whose partisan self-interests overwhelm the opportunities to create optimal solutions to the problems of the 21st century.
When the Republican Party returns to being the party of Ronald Reagan, I will consider making a donation.
Yours very truly,
James P. de Bree, Jr.
Jim de Bree is a Valencia resident.