Columnist: Not a Republican

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Larry Summerour

Contributing columnist

Several weeks ago a friend of mine asked me why I am not a Republican. He went on to say that the majority of people in Troup County are Republicans like him. Since that is a relevant question, I wanted to share my answer with others.

First, I am convinced that Republicans are sincere in their personal political beliefs. In saying that I am not a Republican, I am not questioning their sincerity. However, when it comes to the Republican Party, I simply don’t like what the GOP has become.

I have tremendous respect for many past Republicans like Ronald Reagan. I especially like the fact that Reagan was willing to work with Democrats. Today’s Republicans in Congress will not work with anyone, especially fellow Republicans. They are a disgrace to the legacy of Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, Howard Baker, Newt Gingrich and George H.W. Bush.

I am finishing my 42nd year serving churches in north Georgia. That has included full time and part time churches. I learned early in my ministry, that to accomplish anything, you have to be willing to compromise. The people who caused me the most problems were the ones who never sought common ground.

In watching the House Select Committee on Benghazi, I was dumbfounded by how rude most of the Republicans were. Only a few Republicans — including Representative Westmoreland — showed civility. Most did not want the truth. They wanted only to hurt Secretary Clinton politically.

Did Secretary Clinton make mistakes concerning Benghazi? Of course she did. Does she sometimes find it hard to admit she makes mistakes, I would answer yes. But she committed no misdemeanor or felonies. She also didn’t deserve to be publicly chastised for 11 hours. This is one of the main reasons I am not a Republican. I believe in treating people fairly. No person- Republican or Democrat- should be attacked as she was.

I am not a Republican because, during the presidential debates, Democrats showed a lot more concern for the poor. Because of my wonderful father, I am blessed financially. God calls on people like me to help the less fortunate. Most poor people are not lazy. They simply don’t make enough to pay their bills.

Several years ago I complained to a Troup County commissioner that I have no children in the Troup School System. He explained to me that people who are well-off financially must be willing to help little children who come from poor families. Well, two weeks ago, I gladly paid my property taxes, knowing that it would go to help folks who are less fortunate than I am. I wish the billionaire Koch brothers felt the same way.

Larry Summerour of Troup County is a retired pastor who enjoys political commentary.