Oregon’s former Senator Mark O. Hatfield died yesterday at the age of 89. I recall voting for him back when I too was a Republican. He was a man of Conscience; a man of my father’s Republican Party… quite unlike the Borg Collective of today's GOP.
Hatfield was the sort of statesman that allowed for a Republican to hold the governorship and senatorial seats during both long term political careers in this quite Liberal state of Oregon. He is often most known for differing from his party in his opposition to the Vietnam War. A devout Christian, he did not fully support his party’s embrace of Christian Evangelicals who he believed represented intolerance and divisiveness.
There are any number of well-written and thoughtful obituaries and remembrances of Senator Hatfield that one can easily Google, so I won’t even attempt to do so here. I will just say that it was intelligent, moderate and caring men like Hatfield that made me feel good about my Republican Party back then. And it is the loss of statesmen such as Hatfield, the party today of John Boehner, the Tea Party and the vitriolic Fox News collective that have turned me away from my Republican roots.
Sadly there seems to no longer be room for statesmen like Senator Hatfield in today's GOP. This is a sad indictment for our country on so many levels.