Opinion | Susan Knopf: Fantastic fabricators of fantasy fiction

Susan Knopf

It’s time we get our words straight. Let’s be real. The Republicans can no longer call themselves “conservatives.” Clearly, they are not trying to conserve anything. Not the rule of law, not national security, not the health of the country, not Christian values.

Let’s be clear. Conservative is defined as a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values.

I heard a woman say she’s inclined to vote for Biden even though she’s concerned the about Democrats’ “crazy” views on abortion.

For the record, pro-choice activists are trying to maintain the rule of law established by the Supreme Court in 1973. That’s almost 50 years ago. That’s pretty traditional. Anti-choice groups have tried to demonize New York’s law giving grieving families an opportunity to terminate nonviable pregnancies.

Contrary to fake Fox News reports, no one is trying to do anything “crazy.” We just think abortion is a private health matter. We respect people who think it’s a sin and wouldn’t consider it. That’s fine. But you don’t get to legislate other people’s access to health care.

Democrats are working to conserve traditional abortion rights established by the Supreme Court. Right-wingers are trying to stack the Supreme Court and eliminate abortion rights.

Obviously, Trump thinks lawful convictions are for other people and not his cronies as he pardons and commutes sentences of duly convicted felons: Roger Stone, Rod Blagojevich, Michael Milken and more than 30 others. Until Trump, “… no president has ever used clemency primarily to reward friends and political allies,” Mark Osler, a law professor and clemency scholar at the University of St. Thomas’ School of Law, told NPR via email. Sen. Mitt Romney and many other officials and scholars regard these pardons and commutations as “historic corruption.”

Drain the swamp? You’ll have a chance in November. Vote Biden-Harris.

Right-wingers aren’t concerned about our national security. A long list of Trump missteps cause allies to distance and distrust us. Perhaps most egregious of all is the failure of the Republicans to be good stewards of the national debt during a Republican administration. “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt,” former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen told CNN in 2010.

Trump promised to wipe out debt in eight years. Instead, he added $3 trillion in debt in an expanding economy. It’s amazing how “conservatives” think debt is bad when a Democrat occupies the White House but zip their lips when it’s a bombastic Republican. A big portion of that debt came from Trump’s tax reform that rewarded billionaires. The 400 wealthiest Americans paid a lower tax rate than the rest of us. It was in the New York Times and Forbes. Believe it. Trump is the king of swamp rats.

Conservatives aren’t concerned about our health. Can you imagine if we had politicized the polio vaccine? My mother didn’t learn to swim until high school. All the public pools were closed during her childhood in Texas. People were worried about polio spread. If only our president was concerned about the spread of COVID-19. We have the most deaths and the worst rate of infection spread in the world.

Right-wingers would have you believe they espouse Christian values. But they elected a man who’s been married three times and brags he could murder someone and no one would touch him. They think it’s OK to rip crying children from the arms of their parents and put the kids in cages. Not humane. Not Christian.

So-called “conservatives” are peddling a fantasy fiction from a fabricated past, rooted in about 1956. That’s before the civil rights movement. That’s before the women’s movement. That’s when no one talked about a bowel movement. There was no movement.

That’s what they want. They want us stuck in their version of fantasy nirvana. They’re not “conservative.” They are fantastic fabricators of fantasy fiction, 4F. Let’s conserve real American values that embrace change.

Our founders took great risks separating from the most powerful nation on earth that vanquished Scottish rebellion. We can move forward and keep our nation’s promise of greatness, real character and deep spiritual values. Avoid the 4Fs; they just want to trap you in their time warp.

Susan Knopf’s column “For the Record” publishes biweekly on Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf lives in Silverthorne. She is a certified ski instructor and an award-winning journalist. Contact her at

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