Dear Senator McCain,
I flew a B-17 in WW2, wondering how I’d behave if shot down and captured by Nazis. I can only hope I’d have been a thousandth as courageous as you were in Vietnam. You brilliantly served our country and your heritage as son and grandson of admirals.
Now, as a senator and bearer of a Republican tradition, you face very different pressures. Your Party is being subverted by radicals destroying the concept of a loyal opposition. You watch this heedless element trying to turn the Republican Party into a mirror-image of Islamist groups destroying their own moderate tradition by imposing Sharia law. You are deeply pained by the damage already done, and the idea that more is sure to come.
Traditional Republicans have not spoken out, fearing a split in the party. But the split is already a fact, and ignoring it now can only do further damage. It is in your power to turn back this threat to American democracy. By disowning radicalism, you will hearten other traditional Republicans, and the strong clear voice of a loyal opposition—sometimes Republican, sometimes Democrat—will again be heard. The Republican Party will reclaim its place as a voice for conservative Americans.
In the mid-1960s, as an aircraft carrier pilot, you may have been insulated from the protests of the era, yet were surely aware of them, as you are aware of protests now. But today’s protests are not against a war, but a nation stymied by homegrown radicalism which if not stopped, will destroy the Republican Party from within, much as another traditional party—the Whigs—was destroyed a century and a half ago when it attached itself to slavery. It is within your power to restore the Republican party to its traditional role as conservator of the moderate Right.
When you recall your 2008 run for the presidency, and your erstwhile running mate who has since revealed her true colors, you may perhaps wonder if her presence contributed to your loss. And now, as other radical voices join hers, you realize that our country’s long tradition of two moderate major political parties is in danger. Other traditional Republicans surely share these concerns.
Were you to disavow radicalism and move away from a radical posture on taxes or jobs or any other major issue, it would reassure and attract others. By speaking and acting against radicalism, the Republican Party will save itself for the future.
Sir, I implore you to take this historic step. History will add new honors to your already honored name.
Formerly, Stuart Hodes Gescheidt, 2nd Lt, USAAF