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Letter: GOP is leading country down a dangerous path

GOP is leading country down a dangerous path

The United States is in trouble. We have a party that panders, at worst, to our racist and bigoted past. At best, it is blaming the country’s problems on “them” in classic “us versus them” politics.

The Republican Party started down this path under Richard Nixon, with his “Southern strategy.” It picked up steam under Ronald Reagan, when he made the first stop in his general election campaign in Mississippi, about 7 miles from where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. His speech centered on states’ rights, which at that time, in that place, explicitly meant: Keep the blacks in their place and keep those commie pinko liberal Northerners out.

George H.W. Bush wasn’t as bad, but he exploited the race-baiting with his Willie Horton ads. It got under full steam with Newt Gingrich, with his practice of explicitly demonizing Democrats.

Right-wing talk radio has carried this demonizing to further extremes. And since Reagan did away with the Fairness Doctrine, right-wing talk radio and Fox (propaganda) News can’t be called to account for their lies and distortions.

In this election, this was exacerbated by Vladimir Putin’s fake news stories and his hacking into the Democrats’ computer systems. Do Republicans care about Putin’s meddling? Not a whit. Their hypocrisy is mind-boggling. They claim to be patriots. They are radical and revolutionary.

Mark Twain said: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” To sum up, I believe the extreme right has given this country a malignant cancer which, if unchecked, will prove fatal to this country.

Dennis Seekins

Lyndonville

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