To the editor: Dear Sen. Murkowski, though we are of different political affiliations, I have from time to time admired your independent spirit. That degree of respect prompts me to write to you and urge that you formally declare yourself an Independent rather than a Republican.
My perception of Alaskans is that they value Murkowski, more than they hew to Republican principles. This was amply proven by your write-in victory in 2016. It is well known that the former president is hostile to you and has already selected a primary opponent who will doubtless be well funded. I think you can prevail over this person and in the future vote your own conscience which will sometimes guide you to Republican policies and sometimes to those of the Democrats, but without squandering your own integrity. When I see a single Republican, Mitch McConnell, boastfully seizing the proxies of his entire caucus and demanding to own their votes, as an American I cringe. I cannot imagine how you must feel, robbed of your ability to exercise your intellect in service to Alaska and the nation.
Our country is at a crossroads and I cannot conceive that reasonable people will consign our nation to the nativist, authoritarian future which seems to be the goal of the current Republican Party. In the past, patriots put their very lives on the line to defend us. All you would have to do is make an affiliation change and vote the way your commonsense dictates.