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Letter to the editor: Following conscience is patriotic

Letter to the editor: Following conscience is patriotic



It’s not even hidden. Republicans say to win elections they must restrict voting. They shun and threaten all not totally loyal to Trump, those following their conscience. I think of Nuremberg trials against those loyal to Hitler, those with no conscience.

Seven courageous Republican senators and 10 representatives (not our Stefanik) voted their conscience, voting to impeach. I kept thinking, “How could others not see” what’s evident? Then I remembered Jim Crow South — all-white juries finding a Black man guilty with no evidence, or a white man innocent who clearly killed a person of color, facts unimportant, only loyalty to their “cause” — violence, dogs, courts, police enforcing power.

When the Supreme Court gutted parts of the Voting Rights Act, some states rushed into high gear: limiting voting access, demanding identity cards, limiting polling places, purging voter rolls, gerrymandering districts, ensuring Republican control of state legislatures. But many worked diligently — registering voters, establishing early and mail-in voting, making voting accessible to all. It worked — more people voted in this fair election than ever before. But still the big lie, people raging that the election was stolen, attacking the Capitol. What was stolen: reason and morality.

Republicans once had a vision: fiscal conservatism, limited government, adherence to the Constitution, individual freedom. But their tax bill benefiting the very wealthy created huge deficits; total subservience to Trump’s dictatorial power, suppressing the vote, lying, threatening dissent damaged democracy; religious right’s vendetta against gays, lesbians, transpeople and women’s reproductive choices ignored real sins — poverty, racism, injustice, violence, war.

I called Democratic managers, thanking them for consciousness, respect and knowledge of history and our constitution, rule of law, accountability. And called the Republicans — most of whom hold views different from mine — thanking them for integrity, courage. Differences and debate are good. But sneering, threatening, cheating, willful ignorance to preserve power are criminal.

Bernice Mennis, West Fort


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