Serious Republicans don't know what to think of these new Republicans. They talk about social issues and we talk about money. We want independence and they want to know of our intimacies. We love our women and they want to make them second class citizens. They say don't be gay and we say leave our kids alone.

Republicans are smart people and when you start talking about personal stuff in a public forum, they prefer discretion and dealing with it behind closed doors. Time and politics sure can change the bed you should be sleeping in and change is never easy, but this Republican party is certainly not our fathers' anymore.

You never had to tell a Republican how to think because they were just stubborn enough to realize figuring it out for themselves was the best and, sometimes, only way. They loved the land and the woods and the rivers and the streams and the satisfaction of a job well done. Their souls rumbled as they walked the land their ancestors tilled. They felt no greater pride then saying it's mine. That was the America of Barry Goldwater.

Somewhere along the way, the party was so busy fighting those damn liberals they lost track of what they were saying and who they were hanging with.

John Dean, in the book "Conservatives Without Conscience," quoted Sen. Goldwater as having said in 1994, "Mark my words - if and when the preachers get control of the (Republican) party, and they're trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise."

Sen. Goldwater seemed like America's first Republican for a generation of people. He stood for much of what we believed in and yet I'm not certain he would get an invite to this New Republican Convention. When reason leaves a party it is time to find a new group of friends. Sometimes you gotta do what is right even if it means losing and for some old warrior patriots, they want and need to do what is right while they still can.

Merle Hanson,