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An open letter to the Republican Party

To the editor:

You, the Republican Party, have reached a pivotal point in your history. You need to decide what’s going to be your future image and direction.

You have become the party that uses fear-mongering and name-calling to attract members. You prey on people in rural areas who don’t want the complexion of their communities to change, and you tell them that immigrants, Blacks, Muslims and gays are going to ruin everything. You turn neighbor against neighbor by hyping Democrats as socialists and liberals while you reject constitutional efforts to grant freedom and justice for people of every race, religion and culture.

You have become the party that resents the government, despite your politicians taking an oath to protect citizens. You attract members by encouraging them to resist measures that would benefit the common good, telling them it’s their “right” to own military-grade weapons or not to wear masks during COVID. You prey on those who are paranoid about rumors of the government trying to take over and welcome into your party the extremist militant groups who helped plan the insurrection at the Capitol, like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

You have become the party that has found lies to be a useful tool. You have done nothing to dispel the obviously fake conspiracy theories circulating on social media, Fox or the dark web. You let gullible people believe in crazy ideas put out by QAnon (drinking the blood of babies, really?) and supported the “Stop the Steal” movement despite no concrete evidence of voter fraud.

You have become the party that attracts Christians by using the anti-abortion bait, while harboring extremist Christian Nationalists who think that Christianity is the only “American” religion and that God has ordained them to use legislation to force their doctrine on everyone. These zealot politicians, embedded in your party, have no respect for an individual’s right to choose their own church and follow its guidance in forming a personal moral code. 

Now is your definitive moment to reach out to informed citizens of good conscience. Are you the party of “law and order” or the one that supports the militant NRA, neo-Nazi, white supremacy, Christian Nationalist groups that flocked to Trump? Are you the party of “integrity” or the one that supports politicians who perpetuate Trump’s lies about the undercurrents of conspiracies and voter fraud? Are you the party that is “for the people” or the one that uses prejudice, strong-arm tactics and disinformation just to stay in power? 

While you’ve spent four years conjuring up fears and innuendos about the radical left, you were blatantly attracting and embracing the terrorist right.  Your decision on whether or not to disassociate from extremist influences going forward will speak volumes about the true values of your party.   

Martha Hodges

Massena

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