Columnist: GOP is now a dysfunctional party

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2016

Larry Summerour

Contributing columnist

In my opinion, today’s Republican Party is dysfunctional. What do Republicans believe? What do they stand for? Is the party going to treat Donald Trump fairly, or is it destined to give the nomination to someone else?

As I have written, Donald Trump should definitely be the nominee of the party. Why? Because he would have earned most of the delegates.

The people of Troup County overwhelmingly gave Trump their vote. The votes of the fine people of this county should be respected.

If the Republican Party steals the nomination from Trump, then no one should vote Republican on the national level. The party on the local and state levels are respectable. My problem is with the national party.

Leaders of the national party unfortunately continue spending their time defending the rights of the wealthy. I personally have nothing against rich people. In fact, when I was in the full-time ministry, I got along best with those who were well-off financially. The middle class members gave me the most trouble.

However, the poor and the lower middle class need the most help. The haves must continue to help the have-nots. In a recent article in USA Today, it was reported that most Americans have no more than $1,000 in savings. As time goes on, people with little or no savings will need even more help.

People criticize Bernie Sanders for being a socialist. Well, we Americans are already a socialist nation. This explains why a minority of Americans pay all the taxes. Yes, like you, I don’t like paying taxes. But since God has been good to me financially, He calls on me and others to help the less fortunate. I call that Christianity.

Republicans are on the wrong side of history when it comes to the issue of gays and lesbians. I grew up in a racist home, a racist church, a racist community, racist state and a racist country.

The church I attended — a Methodist church — even voted unanimously to not let African-Americans participate in our services. Our minister, a progressive, stood against the members and said, unequivocally, that blacks were welcome to come and worship. The church fired him immediately.

In the 1950s in most places, blacks were treated as second-class citizens. Thankfully, there is less racism today than there was in the 1950s — but it still continues. But millions of Americans have become more progressive concerning race relations.

The same can be said for homosexual rights. As time goes on, most Americans will learn to respect the constitutional rights of all people — blacks, whites, Asians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics, Hispanics.

I want to be on the right side of history. This means that businesses that are open to the public must be willing to serve the public without discrimination because of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Republicans in general should be happy to affirm this.

I am especially proud of Coca-Cola, Walmart, Delta Airlines, Apple, Disney and many other major corporations that are here to serve all the public. When I go to Walmart, a great company, they don’t ask me about sexual orientation or religious beliefs. When I go there, I feel like they really want me there. Every business should have the same attitude.

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