Letter to the Editor: From a different perspective …

Thank You Nick Collin. With all due respect, I wish you would consider a different perspective.  I don’t know how to say it better than to quote the title of an article from an April 2012 issue of the Washington Post.  “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.”  (Adapted from, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein)

Mark Mihevc offers informed information everyone should consider.  Republicans are so tribal I wonder if there’s anything this Governor can do that will satisfy.  Your radical fringe is now your majority.  Maybe you, Nick, are the radical fringe.  I ruffle feathers, I know.  It’s not personal.  Most of us have a long-standing family history with our political party.  It can feel very personal.

The Republican Party has changed dramatically in the last ten, twenty years.  The Democratic Party has not changed much, except with the times, since the late 1920’s.  Its tenents remain basically the same.

I’m not interested in continuing a discussion based on a false equivalency that the political parties are equally “fringe,” and equally problematic.   This isn’t true — it’s become a kind of lie.  Similar to an addict’s denial.  We can’t wish,  pronounce, or command equal legitimacy into being because we desire it to be true, or it’s more comfortable to gloss over and assume it to be true.  It is an observable reality.  Both parties have extreme elements, yes.  The Democratic Party is not dictated to and controlled by an extreme left wing. This a right wing fantasy.  The Democratic Party, like it,  don’t like it, agree with it, or not, is a functioning party with a coherent platform that is not manipulated and controlled by the whims of an extremist base.  It works within the reality of facts agreed upon by the world.  It does not invent facts or conjure data to support a reality that only its members believe.

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Oh sure, politics is always politics.  You can find plenty of fault, evidence of wrong-doing, mismanagement, flawed plans and thinking, corrupt individuals or behavior, in any political party over the years.  I’m talking about an entire alternate reality. The extremist tells us everything that isn’t a part of their alternate reality is the “Deep State,” or some other conspiratorial explanation.  No one can win an argument with an extremist.  Hell, you can’t win a point or make a single inroad. The extremist is always right, has an explanation for everything, and can concede nothing.  The moment he isn’t winning a real-world argument, he switches over, preferring to discuss his alternate world.  It is completely unreasonable.

I’m thankful for Never-Trumpers and other conservative thinkers who remain steadfast to conservative principles despite being excommunicated by the Republican Party.  Many of whom bit the bullet and voted for Biden in 2021, feeling it was their only option.  Bill Kristol, though many of his ideas remain difficult for me, has good advice Joe Biden would do well to consider in the situation he’s in now.

A Republican I know recently informed me that Bill Kristol is a hack.  Not the word he used, but this was definitely the gist.  He then did not hesitate to say that Dinesh D’Souza is a genuine conservative.  This should tell you all you need to know about the state of the Republican Party today  — if indeed you are so very “un-fringe.”

Donald Trump is the hack.  He isn’t conservative and he isn’t interested in any idea that doesn’t serve him first, or him only.  I wasn’t a big fan of Ronald Reagan though I did vote for him once.  Didn’t vote for any Bushes, or McCain, or Romney. I admit now, I’d take any one of them, or all together, in a heartbeat and twice on Sunday, over that Frankenstein creation, Trump; with the Alzheimer’s, the “points of light,” the paintings in the bathtub, and the “binders full of women.”  No questions asked.  How do you vote for somebody who says John McCain is not a hero — on top of a mile-high mountain of lies?  Republicans turned John McCain’s name from Pure Grit to Mud without blinking an eye!

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Did I say I’m in love with Gavin Newsom? I said, he is our elected Governor. Legally and legitimately elected in the state of California by a majority of voters.  There are worse Governors — much worse. This recall, initiated by an extremist Republican Party, is another degradation and assault on our fragile democracy by the far right that Republicans think is no big deal.

I know — many, many complaints about California. I don’t listen anymore, to tell the truth. A lot of it sounds like bitching to me.  I’m from Nevada. I don’t have as many grievances or feel them so acutely. I understand there are problems. I don’t believe for one second they are all caused by Liberals, that Newsom’s the big problem, or that it will solve a single thing to replace him with a right wing extremist. The Republican candidates are not conservatives. Do you expect the government of a state this size, population, and diversity to solve everything anyway, to satisfy everyone, and for the Governor to be perfect? This recall election is costing the State of California two hundred seventy-six million dollars. Is that conservative? We couldn’t allow the elected Democratic Governor to serve his term? Looks to me like Republicans aren’t satisfied with the electoral process; that in so many instances, they would rather simply appoint the candidate they prefer.

I argued one time with a financially brilliant Trump supporter about climate change — it is incomprehensible the wild theories, the science denial, the outrageous lengths Republicans will go to deny this particular reality, while we all complacently simmer ourselves. Not to worry.  Rich folk will be fine, for now.

Performative “culture wars” over every little bee in the bonnet of “the base,” and still you are able in your minds to divorce yourselves from the racist extremists among you. Believing somehow, at the same time that you have your feet on the high moral ground?  You repeatedly sign off on, agree with, or remain in denial about, overtly racist political tactics.  Are you aware that people can see you?

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I never said Trump didn’t do anything good. A broken clock is right twice a day. Trump is the product of a dysfunctional system. We are all responsible  — okay? Ultimately, the problem is our collectively polarized views and attitudes. Democrats aren’t absolved. It is Republicans, however, who are the greater problem now, and who stand in the way of any meaningful progress or improvement.

Nobody says you have to agree with Democrats, or Republicans are wrong about everything.  Certainly, all people are entitled to respect, dignity, and fair treatment.  This is fundamental to Democrats.  It still doesn’t mean extremism in the Republican Party is always equal in proportion and frequency to extremism in the Democratic Party.

It isn’t Democrats behaving like they want a single-party system, or an autocracy. That’s Republicans.  I won’t enable Republicans anymore on their drive toward “virulent minority rule.” Republicans enjoy and find it convenient to hide behind “what-abouts.” They don’t like to examine their behavior.  Is why they insist Democrats adhere to a made-up, arbitrary rule that says Democrats must agree radical fringe elements exist on both sides.  Therefore the problems are exactly the same, and we must protect Republican’s tender feelings.  I don’t agree.

Needed to be said. Again.  Don’t everybody go put on your “Deplorable” t-shirts all at once.  We all know that’s not what she meant.  Or, run out and spend good money on the “Proud To Be In a Cult” visor.  Hey, it’s a free country. Do what you want.  Maybe one day you’ll stop defending every bad thing about your party, or if you’re really a conservative, you might challenge your radicle right majority, and yourself.  It’s not up to me.

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Helene Day

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