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Wednesday's Letters to the editor

OPINION March 31, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Pitchforks point wrong way

Dear editor:

When, during Trump's reign, we were told by Republicans that their donors called them up and said, "You had better vote for the over trillion tax cut for the rich or else," I believe that recently the same donors called Sen. McConnell and demanded, "Don't vote for the COVID-19 rescue bill, though popular even with Republicans. Your vote will ruin our propaganda playbooks. For now start screaming, 'Too much!' And scream loudly about any Biden fault you can think of."

A cruel but successful playbook is the Two Santas Theory, as arrogantly outlined by operative Jude Winniski: "Republican presidents can spend trillions on tax cuts for the rich, but for Democratic Presidents do deaf-causing hollers, 'Deficit! Austerity!"' This playbook is a shame because any economic buildup for the working poor and middle-class spurs the economy through trickle up, whereas those for the rich cause problems since the rich have no incentive to invest in America. Their extra money is used only to increase their wealth through their own stocks, foreign investments, and Wall Street risky gambles. Trickle up is win/win because in a short time the money lands in the pockets of businesses that provide services and goods for those who have gotten higher wages or tax breaks.

Sen. McConnell's cruel refusal to cooperate with President Obama harmed millions of Americans: (1) Those of us innocent homeowners who permanently lost the value of our homes; (2) those caught in the subprime scam, were evicted, and lost investments; and (3) those harmed by the Great Recession. As Americans were devastated, Republicans made political hay as the top 1% became even richer. Not only weren't the Republicans punished for what they did to us, they were rewarded politically and economically.

After the Civil War, a Big Lie was told by some of the right-wing "radical" Republicans when they shamelessly borrowed the aristocratic laissez-faire capitalism (aka Scroogian capitalism) from anti-democratic Europe. PBS series "Victoria" shows that British working people didn't even have the vote. Neither laissez-faire capitalism nor any capitalism is in the Constitution. Yet, Republicans still win votes by yelling "Capitalism." New Deal Capitalism developed by Franklin Roosevelt corrected many of the flaws in laissez faire by keeping in mind the needs of the American people and knowing that no private insurance company would protect people from old age.

As a former Republican, I never appreciated unions until the Republican Reagan Administration decimated them. Wages for working people and many other sectors of the economy went way down while wealth for CEOs and the right-wing rich went astronomically up as a result of crony capitalism, weak unions and "buy-a-politician" (usually Republicans) schemes. The late Rush Limbaugh and his look-alikes have convinced working people they are their buddies while their right-wing rich backers have put their hands into middle-class pockets and robbed us blind. Distracted by cruel entertainment, working people are pointing fingers and pitchforks at the wrong people.

Linda Woodbury

Hot Springs

Selfish representation

Dear editor:

I wonder if the Republicans can ever find anything positive and rewarding to vote for. When I joined the party in 1960, their platform stated they were conservative in economic matters but progressive in social matters.

I looked at the voting record of the last week in Congress. Not one of the state's Republican representatives or senators voted for a major issue promoting progressive subjects. All four voted against removing the Equal Rights Amendment deadline of 1982. Thirty-three states' ratifications stand. Women were not included in the Constitution per se. Surely in 2021, it is time for women to be given equal treatment with men.

Not one vote for the Renewing Violence Against Women Act. Republican opposers argue that ambiguous and dubious question that transgenders who were male will enter women's shelters and force themselves upon women there. Really?

Not one voted for protecting Dreamers and other immigrants (granting permanent legal status and a path to citizenship to 2 million children who were brought to the U.S.). Republicans say the bill encourages more illegal immigration.

Not one voted for overhauling farmworker visas. This bill would allow undocumented migrants for temporary agricultural jobs that the local workforce is unable to provide, and that is often a great number. Republicans argue, regardless of farmers needing the workers, that it is just another way to let illegal immigrants in.

In the Senate, neither Arkansas senator voted for the confirmation of Deb Haaland as Interior secretary, the first American Indian to hold that office, needed years ago. Nor did either vote for confirmation of Xavier Becerra as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the first Hispanic to hold that position. Are Republicans against Native Americans and Hispanics?

Perhaps these actions demonstrate why I decided 25 years ago to drop my affiliation with the GOP. Somewhere they have lost their original purpose, so much that in the recent election, they had no platform. What has happened to their original purpose of social issue progressivism? I shudder to think what Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, and Taft would think were they alive! What has happened to my state of Arkansas politically to elect such selfish representatives in Congress?

John W. "Doc" Crawford

Hot Springs

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