COLUMBIA FALLS — What thoughts should an elderly, agnostic Republican share with others in regard to the state of the party of his grandfather, when the party leadership seems comfortable with alternative facts and doublespeak?

Elderly I am; agnostic in all things, religious and political, and I did register as a Republican. So, why all the confusion in recent years, which has only gotten worse in the past several months?

It is impossible to again have a youthful mind with limited knowledge and experience, unless one seriously considers a lobotomy. Therefore, we are destined to become older, and hopefully a teeny bit wiser.

One knows everything at the age of 17, upon graduating from high school with honors and scholarships, then suddenly discovers in, say, five-year increments, that there is so much more to learn.

After many such increments, the awareness grows that one knows so, so little, and that the best state of mind is being agnostic in nearly everything, if one is ever to have peace of mind.

The only other label that one could change is to leave the Republican Party and again become independent, or join another party. Or stay in the party and try to contribute to an image that we could all again be proud of. Silence is not what makes a democracy healthy and strong!

For example: Why am I left with the feeling that the abortion issue seems to almost boil down to a religious issue, one that our party should stay out of – no matter what religion is currently involved? The soft-speaking, elderly lady on the other end of the phone conversation asked if I was “pro-life.” My response was: “I most certainly am, and I have never met anyone during my lifetime who was not pro-life.”

I followed by saying, “If this call is for the purpose of raising money to increase education for women so that they may be better informed to help them prevent an unwanted pregnancy, then count me in.” After a long silence, she again spoke in a kind, soft voice and said, “Thank you,” before hanging up the phone.

Those of us who have experienced abortions by loved ones, who believe that abortion is a horrible solution to an often-horrible situation and remember the knitting needle and coat-hanger days, just don’t see the wisdom in defunding Planned Parenthood or any other organization that is working so hard to help women of all ages to better control their own bodies and the quality of their lives.

To focus only on last-resort abortions, when these organizations have done so much to reduce the number of abortions, seems like such a senseless waste of time, energy and money. All efforts to help women not have an unwanted pregnancy should be the goal of all of us, regardless of party or faith. Why not Republicans in support of Planned Parenthood, if we share their goals?

Had I followed the Catholic faith of my father’s family, I would still be asking the same questions of the Catholic Church that I am now asking of the Republican Party. What is the morality of being on an overcrowded spaceship, with limited resources and an unfillable need for jobs, when artificial intelligence is making inroads that were unthinkable a few years ago – while still this faith goes beyond being against abortion and is also opposed to birth control? Are we all insane?

Each day of the primaries leading up to the election, as I listened carefully to all involved, I could not believe the outrageous things being said by our party candidates, and we elected someone who appears to have the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder!

Grandfather was a Chrysler man, and he did not approve of government subsidies. A more simple time when our party philosophy was that the best government is the least government?