Letter: It’s time for a return to truth-based politics
Though I have strongly held views, it is rare for me to speak about politics in public. I do not wish to harm my relationships with friends, colleagues, business associates. Confrontation is the antithesis of who I am.
For my entire life, political arguments have been about policy. How should we treat the islands of Quemoy and Matsu? Should we attempt to stem the tide of communism across the Vietnam peninsula? What is the proper role of government? Who should pay taxes? Are corporations people? Does money equal speech? Do women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies? How should we deliver health care to all our citizens?
Until five years ago. Politics these last five years have become about lies. If I speak a lie often enough, loudly enough, I can make people believe the lie. No matter that it isn’t true, if it can serve some other goal, appointing judges, tax breaks for the rich, building a wall, stopping abortion, it’s alright.
Wednesday’s attack on our capital was the crop sewn by these politics.
It’s time for a return to a truth-based politics about policy. To get there, we all have to call out the lies, promptly, adamantly, repeatedly, insistently.
But to my Republican friends, I say to you you have a special responsibility, because your votes for this president are the root cause of Wednesday’s insurrection. I know none of you condone, or ever expected that your vote would lead to, Wednesday’s coup, but your willingness to put aside your reservations about this man in service of some political gain reaped Wednesday’s attack. You need to think hard about the Republican party to which you belong. Listen to the words of Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.
For the sake of your policy beliefs, your country, your friends, your community, and yes, your party, you need to denounce the lies and conspiracy theories. You need to do that loudly, firmly, over and over again, with your voices and in writing, in this paper, in social media, in the public square. It’s time for you to take back your party, and for us — all of us — to get back to arguing policies on the basis of facts.
You can start with one simple act. Let’s hear you say it: “Joe Biden won this election, fair and square.”
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