After pondering the crushing debt imposed on America by the new Republican tax law and budget deal, I’ve been trying to understand what it is Republicans think they now stand for.

All my life I’ve been told the three conservative pillars of the GOP were:

  • Fiscal responsibility.
  • Patriotism and anti-communism. 
  • Sound family values.

These three themes have been preached at me since I was born 70 years ago into a family of Eisenhower Republicans.

Now it turns out none of this matters to the modern GOP.

Fiscal responsibility has been thrown out the window so the very rich can avoid paying their share of our military, infrastructure and health care costs.

Patriotism and anti-communism? President Donald Trump praises Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB, and works ceaselessly to discredit the FBI, CIA, NATO and our own free press. President Trump says people who don’t clap enthusiastically for his speeches might be “traitors.” You have to wonder if Ike or Ronald Reagan would applaud this man’s behavior. 

Family values? I’ve had to listen to a lifetime of pious preaching from the religious right on the smallest matters of human conduct, and now it turns out these people are dead silent (or openly enthusiastic) in the presence of a pathological liar who assaults women and seems to worship nothing but wealth.

So what does the modern GOP stand for? Apparently, absolutely nothing.

Peter Egan, Stoughton