The Republican Party is not the solution - they're the problem

Opinion

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Evidently, my last letter regarding the extreme right's strange theology and the incompetence of the current administration struck a nerve [The Right believes in a cruel God and an incompetent president, Viewpoints, Sept. 14]. I've even been accused of being at the extreme other end of the spectrum. If criticizing the president for his many failings and being fixated on the extremist right-wing element that now controls the Republican Party and the White House puts me at the extreme left, I submit that I have the company of most of the country, if recent polls are any indication. Furthermore, I have no quarrel with mainstream religious organizations, and I was not speaking of them. They do good work. But they are not who are in control these days. When the President's chief of staff passes privileged information to James Dobson, we need to be really concerned.

In reality, I'm pretty much an average, everyday American. A businessman. I'm also an average American who, for most of my adult life has not spoken out and has not been politically involved. I see now that this was a mistake and that I took things for granted. Not anymore. I'm also (obviously) a Democrat. However, I put my country before my party. I urge Republicans to do the same, for the good of this nation.

I also have contributed to recovery efforts in the Gulf states as have many liberals and liberal organizations. It helps to keep in mind that a synonym for liberal is "generous." Perhaps Ms. Russell [Don't fixate on 'right-wing fringe', Viewpoints, Sept. 28] would like to visit hurricanehousing.org, a project of moveon.org. One should be careful in relying solely on the Tribune for one's information. Just because it doesn't appear in that paper, doesn't mean it didn't happen. The Tribune is a paper that has never met a Republican presidential candidate it did not like. I dare say if the GOP nominated Mickey Mouse for president, the Tribune would endorse him.

It amazes me that people who supported the investigation of Bill Clinton for what was essentially a private indiscretion, look approvingly at the current president, who surrounds himself with advisors who have little regard for the law; a president who lied us into a needless war, resulting in the deaths of nearly 2,000 of our brave soldiers, sailors and marines and countless Iraqis; a president who puts connections ahead of qualifications; a president who has several staff members under investigation for revealing the identity of a CIA agent. I could go on and on. If Bill Clinton were still president, and had done and allowed all of this, the cacophony from the right would be deafening.

It also amazes me that anyone would criticize the ACLU, an organization whose sole purpose is to preserve and defend the rights guaranteed to all of us in our Constitution. This is an important mission in a time when the extremist right that controls the Republican Party continually tries to take away those rights. I'm sure my critics all have bibles in their homes. I wonder how many have copies of the Constitution? If you don't, it's available at bookstores for under $10. Perhaps it's time to run out and buy a copy.

Ms. Russell says we need to get to work solving problems. She is certainly right. The 2006 Congressional election is little more than a year away.

Todd Bannor
Oak Park

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