Letter: Republicans making a public spectacle of democracy

group of people at bonfire
Photo courtesy Getty Images

To the Editor,

This week, and really any week, it is easy to sum up the right wing columnist’s positions: Republicans and Conservatives are good, while Democrats and Progressives are bad, very, very bad. Like a one-trick pony, his repertoire never varies. His misinformation-laden columns repeat the same conspiracy theories, misstatements, fallacious arguments and distortions in a tedious parade of extreme right wing talking points.
This week he would have readers believe that Trump was a wonderful president. I suppose he was — to the millionaires who benefitted from the tax cut he engineered. Not so much to those who believe in the peaceful transfer of power, that no one is above the law, and that all people deserve respect, regardless of their country of origin, their religion, their sex, their skin color or the size of their bank account.
It is important to note the vitriol and demonization of opposition figures that are regular features of the column in question. A good example is the implausible charge that progressives “…produced innuendos that the COVID vaccine was somehow unsafe…”. No evidence is offered to sustain this calumny. Ironically, members of the far right are busy with anti-vaccination campaigns, even disrupting operations at centers providing free vaccinations. Christopher B. Kulp, philosophy professor of Santa Clara University notes that as a result of this type of demonization, “Public discourse becomes more focused on the acquisition of power and less on the pursuit of truth…” He continues, “Emotionalism usurps reason…” These observations seem to apply to the author as well as his counterparts in Republican-dominated legislatures and school boards.
So drunk on power are these Republican extremists that they are now banning books and ideas that do not conform with their political ideology or their particular brand of Puritanism. Real problems remain unaddressed while these legislators invent new issues, new fronts on the “culture war” scene. A school board member from Virginia, declared  “I think we should throw these books in a fire.” He wanted a public spectacle so all could “see the books before we burn them … we are eradicating this bad stuff.”
Does this sound like America to you? Or does it remind you of the Nazi bonfires?
This is where misinformation and the demonization of political opponents leads. When “true believers” decide that it is time to take action the results have been appalling, as evidenced by the Jan. 6 insurrection, when more than 100 police officers were injured and rioters erected a gallows they intended to use on politicians demonized by right-wing media outlets. This is why exposing and opposing the hatred generated by extremists is so important. Singing kumbaya will not stop this slide towards anarchy.
Pasqual Pelosi

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