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Letter to the Editor: Most critical election of a lifetime

I have been a conscientious, independent voter for over fifty years, and I have no doubt that this year’s election is the most critical of my lifetime.

Through the decades, there have been many important elections that raised awareness, enfranchised voters, and elected lawmakers and leaders who sought to correct the many inherent shortcomings of our Constitution and social fabric. Landmark laws and policies began the process of extending equal access to education, jobs, housing, healthcare, and social justice.  Vital protections for our individual and collective right to freedom of religion, sexual identity, personal health care and decisions, and a healthy environment, were advanced. We have, in effect, been the “shining city on a hill” to which the rest of the world could aspire.

But next week’s election endangers all of those advances. The threat, which challenges the very foundation of our shockingly fragile democracy, comes from the leadership of the Republican party and its financial backers. What was once a proud advocate of core conservative values and a functioning partner in a two-party political system (that has become too polarizing to meet the nation’s needs), has become the bane of the American way. Covertly in the last twenty years, but overtly since the rise of trumpism, the Republican party has systematically groomed a nationwide slate of candidates from the community to the national level. Their agenda is predicated on lies, denials, threats of violence and actual violence, and obscene amounts of special interest money. Their hope is to subvert the basic principles of an egalitarian, inclusive society so that a rich, self-serving, oligarchy and its minions will be able to scare and deceive average citizens into accepting the forfeiture of many of their hard-fought rights. These candidates thrive on fear and division. They may well succeed, and America’s future will be grotesquely compromised.

Many states’ ballots have several extreme neoRepublicans candidates. Some will no doubt be elected, compromising individual rights and legitimate elections for years to come. To California’s credit we have no such candidates at the state level. But for us, in Plumas County, there is a trumpist running to represent us in Congress in the new Congressional District 3: Kevin Kiley. His record speaks for itself. He is an “election denier” who has consistently voted against the well-being of everyday working people in favor of the rich and powerful. Don’t look at his campaign website, which soft-peddles his positions; check out his voting record in the California legislature. Then, please consider his opponent, Dr. Kermit Jones. He has led a distinguished life of unselfish service and is committed to working with all people from all parties to find solutions to our many, very real problems.

Please cast your vote this year for a saner, kinder, more sustainable future.

Piers Strailey


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