Summit Daily letters: Talking past each other when it comes to politics
January 23, 2018
Talking past each other
I was struck by the gulf between the two opinion letters in the Jan. 22 Summit Daily News: "Don't hang the shutdown on Democrats" by Donald Samuels; and "Fighting and winning for us" by Kim McGahey, chairman of Summit Republicans.
The most important thing for a healthy community is to be a good neighbor regardless of differences in opinion, religion or political affiliation. If we can't do that, we are a community in trouble.
Samuels defends Democrats in Congress, to be sure, but without the name calling. And he lists a series of facts that make an important point for citizens to take seriously. That is, our Congress has been unable to govern for a long time. It is not a surprise that polls suggest that upwards of 75 percent of the country has a negative view of Congress.
McGahey speaks for Summit Republicans. A favorable spin is put on what our president and Republicans in Congress have accomplished. The president is admired because he "enjoys the freedom not to be concerned what anyone else thinks about his methodology." The polls are portrayed as giving false information about what people really think. The president has been "refreshingly" productive in his first year. Sen. Schumer is called "Chuckie" and the president of North Korea is now "the Pyongyang Pipsqueak." Democrats don't have legitimate concerns but simply whine from sour grapes. The "kick butt" approach is applauded in diplomacy and domestic governance. Our president is given the same moral and "can do" stature as Generals Grant and Patton. Sixty-five percent of the country isn't buying it. Their view of reality is, well, more real.
Governing would be easier and more effective if citizens and representatives avoid humiliating one another. Try understanding and honoring the diversity among us instead. It is safer than needing to "kick butt."
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Bill van Doorninck
A stark reminder of why I left the GOP
Summit Daily's Jan. 22 paper provided a stark comparison of two divergent opinions on a Democrat-leaning letter versus a Republican Party leader's letter.
Donald Samuels' offers a cogent synopsis of the budget impasse, how the Republicans could supposedly control the issue if they had their own members in order, and what the Democrats' limitations are since they have no control over any branch of government. He also briefly discussed the Continuing Resolution budget process and the reconciliation process.
Kim McGahey's letter perfectly encapsulates the vitriol behind those supporting our current resident in the White House. The grade school-level name calling, innuendos and belittling are what I had hoped we could overcome. At least for Kim McGahey, that is part of the ideology that is being parceled out. The lack of reasoned discourse in this country is perfectly captured by the tone of that letter. I would sincerely have hoped that a party leader would be above such tactics. Obviously, I was wrong.
The letter by Kim McGahey is a stark reminder to me of why I gladly left the Republican Party 25 years ago. McGahey does the Republican Party a deep disservice. Your party is better than that. I keep hoping that we have reached the apogee of such vitriol and a more civilized climate is on the horizon. Clearly, I am mistaken.
A lack of tolerance
Re: Response by Stan Wagon to Kim McGahey's Monday letter
I am not surprised at Stan Wagon's lack of lefty tolerance when he suggests that today's American woman can't own a Ford Super Duty pick-up truck and support our kick-butt and take-names president. How narrow-minded of Wagon to stray from the PC narrative with his intolerant, sexist double standard. I admire such women and encourage them to speak their minds in the current political debate.
Chairman, Summit Republicans
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