Moving on from the election – a letter to editor

I forwarded the following letter to my newspaper editor. Hopefully, they will publish it. I also forwarded it to some folks in an email. Please feel free to adapt and use.

As an independent voter and former member of both parties, it was good to see a significant number of election deniers and Trump sycophants defeated in the elections last week. While a few got elected in, the voters seemed to be saying enough of that storytelling and let’s move on.

I do feel the Republican Party needs to get back on track and move away from those who feel they must lie to curry favor with the former president. We need a conservative voice in our country and the current vintage of the GOP is not it. They could begin with cutting the lines to the anchor of the former president’s deceitful and allegedly seditious behavior. They could cut a few lines to his sycophants as well.

The sooner they do this, the better it will be for our country and their party.

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Saturday in the park – albeit a soggy one

After all the rain from Nicole blew through yesterday, it will be a good day to get outside. I have noticed recently, the names of hurricanes seem to be getting better. We have Nicole following Ian, for example. It sounds like an on-again, off-again soap opera couple. “Do you think Nicole will ever forgive Ian?”

I do gest as many people suffered damage, but we do need to keep a sense of humor. Being from Florida, we had our fair share of hurricanes, but living in Charlotte, one named Hugo hit us the hardest back in 1989. I pray that no one lost any loved ones as those we cannot replace.

The election results are still being tallied with dropped off ballots and mailed-in ballots, so we need to be patient on the end result in Congress. As an independent, I am glad to see more than a few Trump-et blowers have failed to achieve success or are having a tough time.

It is interesting that, at long last, the bloom is off the rose on the former president. I have surmised since January 7, 2021, the day after the insurrection that would not have happened with another president, his political career was over. But, I did say it would take Republicans some time to realize that. The analogy to a hurricane blowing through is apt. Hopefully, we can start cleaning up after Hurricane Donald

With that said, I was disappointed in some of the results, while happy that the red-wave was more of a muted pink. Seeing Ron DeSantis and Marjorie Taylor Greene win rather easily is very disappointing, Greene especially. Rewarding her mean-spirited, divisive and untruthful rhetoric is not good form for Georgia voters.

Seeing Ted Budd win the Senate seat in my home state of North Carolina is very disappointing as well. We are seeing his strident rhetoric replace a more reasoned Republican voice in retiring Richard Burr. He beat out a pretty good candidate, which is sad to see.

But, on the flip side, some more strident MAGA fans of the former president did not carry the day. We need good representation and some of the folks that were pushed by this former president, who values loyalty over competence, were not very good candidates or people, if they truly believe the BS they have spewed out.

It is our job now to demand the truth and collaboration from these elected officials. If they can do neither, then they need to step down. I am long past tired of the we/ they zero-sum game way of politicking. When they do that, we the citizens of this country lose.

Monday Meanderings pre-election

Please go vote tomorrow if you have not done so already. Remember there are some who do not want you to vote and have done and are still doing their earnest to prevent your vote from counting. This is being done through voter restrictions, lawsuits and intimidation all fueled by a former president who has lied because he is not man enough to admit he lost an election.

Per his niece Mary, this is what she meant when she said “Her uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing an election.” This is what is meant when Michael Cohen, his attorney and fixer for years, said under oath to Congress, “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is cheat.” This is what is meant when Trump’s own Attorney General said to the then president’s face, “your election claims of fraud are bulls**t.”

I have known for the longest time, well before his presidency, that Trump was a deceitful acting and bullying person. I also knew two months before the election in 2020 that Trump would claim election fraud. What I did not know is how so many sycophants in legislatures and pseudo news rooms would go along with this BS after it was long ago proven his claims were unjustified.

So, we have people who have seized upon this BS and said everything is still rigged against Republicans. After the voters suppression and gerrymandering that began in earnest after the 2010 midterm when Republicans took majorities in state legislatures, the statement things are rigged against the GOP is sad and laughable.

Please vote. I have observed already when a party is forced to or accepts a Big Lie, small lies are much easier to state. I voted for three bipartisan Republicans, but the rest of my votes have been for Democrats. Democrats are not perfect, but at least they are addressing real issues whether you like what they have done or not. If a Republican touts the Big Lie, please do not vote for them, as they will lie about anything – what is and isn’t.

Please vote on Tuesday, if you have not already

As an independent and former Republican and Democrat, I encourage people to vote. A key reason behind sharing your voice is one of the parties has gone out of its way to tell more than a few, “your vote does not count.” If you are keeping score, you know that the former president’s bogus election fraud claims have led the Republican party leaders to promote the idea of concerns over the voting process as several Republican governors have cracked down on the ranks of voters.

I truly wish this was not a true statement as I hoped the voter suppression tactics of the Jim Crow era were all behind us. Sadly, they are not. This move to suppress voting by the GOP restarted in earnest after the 2010 midterms which dovetailed a census year. With a, in part, racist backlash against the current president, the Republicans took majorities in many states which they used to suppress votes and the process.

Using the cookie-cutter language promoted and distributed by a conservative group called ALEC, restrictive voter ID rules were passed in a number of states along with some extreme gerrymandering, which was so bad, even the GOP lamented later they went too far. The reason is the gerrymandering opened the door for more strident candidates like the ones whose names appear with headlines of bigotry or bullying. Now the GOP is adrift because the truth has little currency therein as these strident incumbents care very little about the truth and are fairly smug about so doing.

I have shared time and again my concerns with Republican elected officials. I have pled with them to promote better civil discourse. I have pled with them to support the truth tellers and call out the liars in a more routine way. I have pled with them to tell the former president to cool his jets and stop dividing us with his Big Lie and routine untruthful behavior and actions. We need a good conservative voice in our country, but this vintage of the GOP is not it.

My strong recommendation is do NOT vote for anyone who still promotes Donald Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. It was not. If a candidate believes this BS, then they will pretty much lie about anything. When truth has little currency, then it is used less and less.

One truth that many do not know is the Republican party has no platform. They chose not to vote on one in 2020 and one prepared by Senator Rick Scott earlier this year was not universally admired or adopted. So, the party is one of telling everyone what is wrong from their perspective, but not offering up what they would do about it.

The Democrats are far from perfect, but at least they have passed legislation to address climate change, infrastructure, gun governance, inflation, healthcare premiums, Rx price limits et al. Under the previous president, the main focus was trying to take people’s healthcare away and giving a tax cut for corporations and the wealthy.

As someone who is more fiscally conservative, while being progressive on social and civil rights issues, I voted for just three Republicans in this election as they had a track record of bipartisanship. The significant majority of my votes were for Democrats. Please vote, even if you do not agree with me. It matters.

Lt. Governor Mark Robinson – add his name to the list again

Let’s add North Carolina Republican Lt. Governor Mark Robinson to the list of those making inappropriate comments at the expense of Paul Pelosi. This is not new territory for Robinson, as he has a habit of making poor choices of words (google Mark Robinson and homophobia or Mark Robinson and book banning).

From an editorial in The Charlotte Observer called “Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson disgraces NC again with post about Pelosi attack:”

“North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson keeps proving there’s no limit to his shamelessness.

In a meme shared to his personal Facebook page — which has 132,000 followers — Robinson poked fun at the recent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The image depicts a mock Halloween costume for an ‘attacker,’ complete with underwear, a hammer and a ‘lame story to tell the press.

‘I’m sorry Paul I don’t believe you or the press!!!!” Robinson wrote in the post, which has received nearly 7,000 likes.’”

I left a message with the Lt. Governor sharing my disappointment. We deserve better than this kind of pitiful and incendiary commentary. On the good news side, Mr. Pelosi was released from the hospital. I guess per Mr. Robinson, we should not believe that either.

Call me crazy, but my parents taught me my name was very important. With respect to Mr. Robinson and others who say similar things in a routine manner, I know his name. But, what I associate with it is probably not what he had hoped.

Read more at: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/article268111352.html#storylink=cp

Election noise making

The following is a letter I forwarded to my newspaper for publishing. It is doubtful they will as I had something published last month, but please feel free to adapt and use.

It is disappointing to this independent and former Republican voter that too many Republican candidates feel obligated to pretend the former president’s bogus and universally unproven election fraud is not a falsehood. It also disappoints me some are beating a resulting drumbeat that the upcoming election might be problematic to sow doubt.

From where I sit, I see a misuse of Trump’s Big Lie to perpetuate a fraud on the American people by restricting voting by certain manipulators who are making a fuss. I encourage all eligible Americans to vote and ignore the noise from these manipulators. We should make it easier for people to vote, not harder in my view. 

And, for those who still want to believe the former president bogus election fraud claims, he has lost every recount, audit and review and all but one court case out of 65 or so to overturn results. To be frank, he cannot lose any more than he has time and again. Perpetuating the Big Lie to sow doubt is disservice to the American people.

We deserve better than this. Please vote.

We need leaders to calm the tensions

Yesterday, yet another example of why we need civil discourse and leaders to emphasize it, occurred when an assailant broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and injured her husband, Paul. Whether someone disagrees with Pelosi’s views or even does not like Pelosi, there is no call for such action. Full stop. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of Pelosi’s, but do respect her experience and capability.

Most of my phone calls and emails over the last two weeks to elected officials is to get them to help lower the temperature in our country. I even made a few phone calls to some of the biggest culprits who throw gasoline on fires stoking more tension. The calls before then, were more pleas to act to denounce those who are continuing to fuel The Big Lie.

Yet, leaders are not being listened to by those who need to clean out their ears. The few truth tellers in the Republican Party are vilified and threatened for daring to call out the former president who has been well documented for what he has done his entire life – act in a routinely untruthful manner

To me, two of the people in leadership positions in the Republican party need to speak up and denounce such behavior. We can disagree with one another without threatening or harming people. The first is Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell. Sadly, McConnell has long been overtly skilled as a politician and with the former president has tried to play both ends against the middle. He calls him out to a point, but does not want to anger the MAGA base too much. Yet, he can at the very least say important things like I noted in the bold sentence above.

The other person is House Minority Kevin McCarthy. After saying the right things immediately following the January 6 insurrection against the Capitol, he was summoned to Mar-a-Lago and apparently read the riot act. Since then, he has been the most obsequious of sycophants daring not rile the anger of the former president. My guess is he was told if he wanted to be speaker after the mid-terms, he better play ball. I say this as McCarthy has abstained from being the leader our country and his party needs him to be.

So, if I were in one of these posts for a day, I might say the following.

-Folks, it is OK for us to disagree with the policies of our opponents, but to attack people is a non-starter. We must not conduct, promote or tolerate violence on an opposing candidate official We need to treat them the same way, we would want our candidates and incumbents treated.

-And, it is long past time to bury this election fraud BS propagated by the former president and his allies. Donald Trump lost the election and to say otherwise, is simply unproven lies. Too many people have been hurt, killed and jailed by believing this BS. It simply is not true and the former president knows it, which makes it even worse.

Of course, that is what a leader might say.

Please consider my request – note to JD Vance

I sent the following note yesterday to JD Vance who is running for Senate in Ohio as a MAGA Republican. Please feel free to adapt and use.

Mr. Vance, I am an independent and former Republican and Democrat voter. I have read your excellent book “Hillbilly Elegy” and have recommended it to others. Yet, I have great difficulty reconciling the tenets of the person who wrote this book with someone who advocates for a former president who, in my view, has betrayed his oath to the constitution and represents policies that are harmful to most Republicans and Americans.

It disappoints me to see my former party obligate its main followers to support bogus election fraud claims by the former president which led to an insurrection against members of Congress, while it denigrates its truth tellers. Conservative pundit Michael Gerson says the Republican Party is in decay. I agree with this statement. We need a viable Conservative party in our country, but this vintage is not it.

I beseech you to help rectify this ship. The GOP must start telling the truth. We have serious problems in our country and need serious minded people. We need you to return to the tenets of the man who served his country and wrote that book and no longer kowtow to those whose currency is untruthfulness. It is not becoming of a military veteran who swore an oath to defend our constitution.

Election security – letter to the editor

I forwarded the following letter to the editor of my local newspaper. I hope it gets printed. Please feel free to adapt and use to your liking.

It continues to frustrate this independent and former Republican and Democrat voter that far too many people continue to believe the former president’s bogus and unproven election fraud claims. Losing every recount, audit and review and all but one of about 65 court cases, reveals how bogus these claims are.

A key reason the recounts failed to prove the bogus election claims is the 2020 presidential election was the most secure election in US history leaving an electronic audit trail that could verify the results. Of course, the former president fired the head of election security who said that just as he fired his own Attorney General who said his election fraud claims were BS.

We have serious issues that we need to deal with in our country, but I have no time for candidates who still parrot this election fraud BS as the Attorney General called it. It is time to elect serious minded people and a key first test is whether they continue to advocate the election fraud claims. If they do, my strong advice is to not vote for them. Full stop.

Please do something to aid our democracy

The following is a paraphrase of a comment I posted on Jill’s post where she cites the excellent piece on concerns of our democracy by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner (see link below).

Truth tellers have little voice in the Republican party as they call out those who don’t speak the truth. Quite frankly, the former president has four legitimate crimes where he could be indicted and lose as the cases are good – seditious activities leading up to and on January 6, meddling in the election in Georgia, taking classified documents to his home exposing them to theft (that may be kind), and financial fraud at his companies. He already has a civil case against him on the last one and it should be noted the prosecutors declined to settle the case as it is strong. Note to Trump sycophants – these are not witch hunts. It is just his usual effort to distract you from his wrongdoings.

People who take Trump at his word are on a fool’s errand. Too many who have flown too close to the Trump sun have had their reputations burned. The happiest people in America are those who declined invitations to work for Donald Trump. The second happiest are their spouses. I have long believed that what lied beneath the surface is far worse than we could have imagined. Several books by insiders corroborate many of these concerns.

Our elected Republican officials need to grow a backbone and speak out against this effort to support voter and civil rights suppression to enable seditious actors like Donald Trump to win. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, et al are on the side of the angels. I ask each of us to write and call their legislators asking them to act. Then, do it again. I also encourage all Republicans to vote against anyone who advocates for the Big Lie or the former president. These folks are lying and in the wrong and are harming not only the GOP, but America. Democrats are not perfect, but they at least are focusing on real issues rather than self-promoted wedge issues that don’t matter a whole lot.