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John Carlson’s suggestion Republicans go on offense with an agenda “squarely on the side of their party’s historic principles” is what the party needs to do.

The Republican Party stood as a party committed to reason and principle. Abraham Lincoln was a progressive who freed slaves and maintained the Union. Teddy Roosevelt created the national park system and was a trust buster who broke up large corporations that threatened to dominate our economic life. Dwight Eisenhower sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to protect black students when schools were desegregated, launched the interstate highway system and balanced the budget with a highly progressive income tax. Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.

Contrast that with the puerile populist agenda Carlson espouses: reduce the sales tax; make a third DUI offense a felony; end freeway toll lanes; no heroin injection sites.

The Republican Party needs to return to its roots and be a vibrant, intelligent voice for decency, reason and honor. The Republican Party needs to commit to the hard work of working through solutions to complex problems. The pandering must stop.

David Baer, Seattle