I have a few Republican friends. For the most part, they are thoughtful, industrious, successful, intelligent people. We share a fraternal bond and, sometimes, even root for the same sports teams. There is an affection that transcends our political differences. We can argue without being argumentative.

However, incredibly, there are still those noble "birthers" who claim our president, Barack Hussein Obama, isn't a U.S. citizen and is a Muslim who was schooled at a madras. I guess that's where he became a socialist (or communist, depending on which acolyte is offering this drivel).

These new Republicans resent being called the "dumb" party. Yet they cling to the notion that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. They debunk evolution as if it were some mystical theory. They discount the fact that climate change is real. And they want us all to be able to own obscene killing machines.

Some tea partiers actually claimed the president was responsible for the murders in Newtown, Conn., as an excuse to take our guns away, so a new world order run by the United Nations will encounter no resistance in its takeover of our country. Credit Fox News for tossing this buffoonery to its audience craving the red meat of insane "logic."

Whatever happened to the real Republican Party - the party that emancipated the slaves, supported women's suffrage and rewarded us with the national parks and interstate highways? This once-respected GOP has been hijacked by a lunatic fringe of neocon, misogynist, homophobic, gun-toting, Bible-quoting, flag-waving, science-denying core group of really ignorant people. It truly has become the party of "stupid." It will soon become the party of irrelevance unless it changes. I miss the Grand Old Party.

JOHN O'DONNELL

Cape May Court House