If the GOP wants to change its image, it's going to have to change its policies

The Republican Party can spend as much money as it wants trying to convince people that it is inclusive, but it will not resonate with anyone unless it deals with its hypocritical policy positions ("The GOP's 'stuffy old men' problem," March 20).

The GOP claims to promote personal freedom, but it wants to legislate who can marry and control the most intimate health care decisions people make, such as abortion and end-of-life care.

The GOP claims to be for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility but its office-holders pack every piece of legislation with as much local pork as possible, including "bridges to nowhere" and FAA air traffic controllers for airports that serve virtually no one.

The party says it wants smaller government, but then it creates legislation that results in the largest growth in the federal bureaucracy the nation has ever seen, including Ronald Reagan's expansion of Medicaid and George W. Bush's huge expansion of the military as a result of the war in Iraq.

The GOP claims to support small businesses and people who "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps." But then it opposes legislation that would make it easier for immigrants to work here. It espouses a zero-tolerance position on crime but opposes controlling the guns used to commit the worst crimes.

Until the GOP's policies align with its espoused ideology, no amount of money is likely to end the alienation so many people feel toward it.

Anita Heygster, Pasadena

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