The flag above the White House is seen at half staff on Feb. 15 for the victims of a mass shooting in Florida. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Regarding the March 4 front-page article “Aides see a president isolated and on edge”:

Party affiliation is a matter of personal choice, and elected officials may change their party affiliation while in office. In 2001, Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont changed parties, switching control of the Senate from Republican to Democrat.

A radical cult of personality with no political philosophy has seized control of the Republican Party. The remaining Republican moderates are more similar to centrist Democrats. The few conservatives owe no loyalty to a party that has abandoned their principles.

Two Republican defectors could flip the Senate. The House would need 30. The Tuesday Group of moderate Republican representatives has about 50 members.

We desperately need an out-of-the box solution to our national political crisis. The two-party system has ground to a halt. Coalition government may be the only solution. Independents are an emerging force, and that affiliation may more accurately reflect the new constituencies. Only courage is lacking.

Dale Kennedy, Tucson

About 50 years ago, I took a boating course from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The instructor told the class that the universal signal for a ship in distress is to fly the flag upside down. If there is a member of the White House staff willing to do that when they run Old Glory up the flagpole, I’m sure the majority of the American people would agree entirely.

William McCracken, Oberlin, Ohio