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March 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Extremism isn’t the way to go

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The November election should serve as a wake-up call for the Republican Party.

The major problem with the present-day GOP is that it’s moved so far to the right that it’s boxed in, scaring away many Republican moderates and independents.

A quick look at the history of the two-party system in this country clearly points out that extremism never wins in the long run. The quickest way for a political party to become a mere page or two in a history book is to blindly follow an extreme agenda year after year.

I think I just described the present-day Republican Party. Republican stalwarts such as Jeb Bush have recently stated such, but his voice of reason has been ignored, criticized and pushed back into obscurity.

It will be interesting to see if the present-day GOP is around as a viable political party in 25 years. My guess is that the GOP will go the way of the dinosaur if it doesn’t change its ways and move back toward the center politically.

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  1. R's have moved to the right in 'some' ways in recent years and D's have moved to the left in 'some' ways. Neither is a good development in my view as a moderate but it isn't enough in either case to push the 'panic' button.

    Let's look at recent history. In 2008, many of candidate Obama's views and his philosophy were to the left of the views of Hilary Clinton (his history said that although his campaign hid it well). Who got the nomination? The candidate more to the left. Who got the R nomination in 2008? A person who championed campaign finance reform with a D named Russ Feingold, and someone who supported comprehensive immigration reform... yes that John McCain. Did Conservative firebrands Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich get the R nomination in 2012? No they didn't. Moderate Mitt Romney got the R nomination instead.

    This claim about the R's is like Obama's campaign about Mitt Romney. You can say something that isn't true over and over again and it works well....until the facts and the truth are presented. Then, the claims are proven false or at least highly exaggerated and a more 'true' picture emerges.

    Look at Mitt Romney's history. The man has been a moderate and he is a moderate. The far right of the R party and there is such a thing, just like the far left of the D party, will never love moderate Mitt, but he is what he is....moderate Mitt...and he is the guy the so called 'radical' R's nominated for their candidate for President.


  2. As an voting American who is old in the tooth, I'm not concerned with whether the republican party as we know it will be around in another 25 years. I'm concerned that if we have another 4 years with the same leaders at the helm, we won't have a country as we know around in 2016.


  3. RefNV sez:

    "In its most dire warning yet about the fiscal cliff, the CBO said the economy would contract by 0.5 percent in calendar year 2013 if the George W. Bush-era tax rates expire and automatic spending cuts are implemented."

    That isn't what the CBO says. It says the economy would GROW, not contract, by 0.5% in 2013, declining in the first half of the year and rebounding in the second half.

    If we're going to have a debate about this, let's at least make it an honest argument.

    The CBO estimated that the uncertainty over the "fiscal cliff" might reduce GDP by up to 0.5% in the second half of 2012. President Obama and Democrats pushed to remove some uncertainty by extending the Bush tax cuts for 98% of us. Republicans voted against it. For what purpose?

  4. The problem is: the party isn't just represented by the Presidential candidate.

    There's also the Senate and House races. What have we seen? The tea party has demanded nothing less than total obedience. This was evident in 2010, and it's evident today.

    In 2010, you had extremists like Sharron Angle, who Mike voted for, as well as extremists like Christine O'Donnell and Joe Miller.

    Rather than learn the lesson, the GOP has doubled down.

    Now we have Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Joe "No exception for the life of the mother!" Walsh.

    And let's not forget Paul Ryan, the Vice Presidential candidate for the GOP, who doesn't believe in a rape exception when outlawing abortion, and worked with Todd Akin in the House in trying to narrow the definition of rape.

    What about Ted Cruz? He won the Senate primary in Texas and is all but certain to be elected, and yet he favors the closure of the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Education, along with the Transportation Security Administration and, naturally, the I.R.S. He says he is very worried that the United Nations is trying to ban golf courses and paved roads.

    The far-right posters can't deny that the GOP has become too extreme on many positions.

  5. @RefNV,

    Your point points to a failed and broken Congress. Congress is controlled by Republicans, not Democrats. The problems are coming from the "extreme side of the Republican Party," not Democrats.

    The CBO Director Doug Elmendorf says, "the economy would contract by 0.5 percent in calendar year 2013 if the George W. Bush-era tax rates expire and automatic spending cuts are implemented."

    This statement speaks volumes, and tell us if both taxes and spending cut are not addressed by this Congress the Nation could revert into a recession.

    Who fault would that be? Can you say Grover Norquist? Or the TEA Party? And throw in John Bohener and Mitch McConnell, with huge dose of Eric Cantor. It's the Republican that is the "extreme" party my friend.

    As my young friends say when there is confusion, "Don't get it twisted."

  6. Mr. Burgess is correct. Republicans are supposed to be the party of "small government"--the party that encourages "freedom" and allows Americans to make their own choices and live and let live.

    But now Republicans have become the party of absolutely massive government--a government that goes far beyond collecting taxes and providing basic services but a government that wants to re-combine church (Christianity) and state, restrict my freedom, tell me how to think and what is and isn't okay.

    Since the election of Barack Obama, common sense has left the GOP completely. It is the party of anger, fear and intolerance.The GOP has become a haven for bigots and misogynists. Republicans are openly hostile to immigrants, gays, women, Muslims, minorities, and pretty much anyone who isn't a white male evangelical Christian. The "conservative movement" has become a rage and fear machine more focused on fostering mass hysteria than finding solutions.

    I would like to vote for a fiscally conservative candidate next month but, due to my disgust with the GOP, I will be voting for Obama.

  7. @ RefNV,
    .....The anti-business Obama, unions and Occupiers do not understand private investment and the role it plays in creating jobs and expanding our economy. With 17% fewer tax filers compared to 2008........

    ReFreeman, calm down, calm down. You remind me of the IT tech tangled up with Cat-5 wire---your moving trying to untangle the wire, but no work is being done.

    Look, it's obvious your excited and have a lot of information. If your from Mitt Romney tell why your for Mitt Romney and give details.

  8. Capitalism has put a negative spin on itself. We are running neck and neck with Turkey and Chile in terms of wealth inequality. The massive spread of damaging hybrid financial instruments has cost people trillions. Half of Americans are dying broke and the things people need to survive and prosper cost a fortune.

    The 23 million number is hog wash. The difference between pre recession employment and the current time frame is a few million workers. We will be lucky to add 23 million workers in the next 25 years. Look at the above. It takes a very long time to dramatically increase the work force.

  10. Good letter Mr. Burgess, thank you.

    You right wingers crack me up. You attempt to put a spin on the GOP moving so far right by blaming Democrats, but those within the party are complaining. As noted by other posters, Jeb Bush and other life long Republicans warned those on the far right, but they are being ignored.

    Back in 2010 life long Republican Russell King wrote an open letter to the GOP:

    Apparently it had no effect on the lemmings being led by pundits and whack jobs toward the cliffs.

  11. When I hear the word "extremism," I think of four more years with Obama that we really, really can't afford. It will take several years to undo the extreme problems he's created in the last four years.

  12. @kepi...
    "As a NP and former Republican, I believe that the Republican Party that I once belonged to is gone forever, replaced by the radical Tea Party.

    I find the new Republican Party (TEA Party) frightening. I am also saddened by the profound radical beliefs held by many Americans who support the TEA Party."

    EXACT same situation here. I am truly frightened of this new party . They are so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say will change their minds. They don't appear to think for themselves but instead they just repeat the rhetoric they learn from Limbaugh. They are uninformed about the things they say they believe in and uninformed about the things they oppose.

    I think the worst thing about the new "conservatives" is the complete lack of empathy they seem to have. They are quick to place blame and they are extremely punitive.

  13. Mr. Freeman.. The unemployment rate in this country has never been zero. It has averaged about 4% to 5% since they started keeping records. It's currently about 8% which is a few points above trend.

    The underemployed crap is only something that comes up at election time. The concept has only been around since,"International Conference of Labour Statisticians of 1982". You're always going to have people that claim they are underemployed, underpaid and don't have the benefits they deserve.

    No leader has ever been able to bring in economy to 0% unemployment outside of wartime. If you think Romney can do that you're living in phantasmagoria.

  14. I think it is great there is all this right wing extremism in the Republican Party.

    This may be the thing that brings about a credible third party for the next election. They will have 4 years to organize, plan, and launch Congressional candidates for all 51 states, and a Presidential & VP candidate.

    Also, it gives the opposite side of the future President the opportunity to raise hell for 4 years.

    Should be entertaining to say the least.

    Extremism is locked in fear from any side. Sometime hate is added to the fear.

    It is easy to get caught up in it when surrounded by it. They see ghosts and their imaginations take flight into more fear. It is also like a virus, maybe worse than HIV.

    When people have little else in their lives they become vulnerable to the virus and turn into the frightening image in their nightmares.

    Both sides have had experience with extremism, and today's extremists are so filled with fear that they are in their own prisons.

    No matter who wins, we all must live on and do the best we can. That is the only thing any of us can do.

    No matter what my or your views are, I only wish good for the USA, but have to be honest and say I do see problems ahead for the majority of people, whether Obama or Romney is elected. No escaping that.

    I have an idea. Let's have a real good old fashioned range war. Round up all the right wingers and fascists, and all the left winger's and socialists, in each others imagination, and have a good old 'Lord of the Flies' event.

    Sell tickets to the rest and give the profits to pay down the debt.

    Keep the children away, because we don't want to stunt any growth to maturity.

    The rest of us can, I hope, have a good dialog, free of the virus. Sometimes, we have to take a break to make sure the virus doesn't overtake us.

  15. Yes, Sgt Rock, and the same for Obama, according to the standard you express, and in keeping with the "extremes" that have been described here.

    In either case, no matter who is elected, most people will do the best they can under the circumstances. Some will be unhappy. Others will follow their extremist views, while the others put cotton in their ears.

  16. FreedomRadio - "It will take several years to undo the extreme problems he's created in the last four years."

    Exactly what extreme problems? Can you list them?

  17. @kepi,

    An interesting post kepi, I know several Republicans who were raised in Republican households who left the party recently. Why? It was the extremism that started in 2008 when the GOP fractionalized, and since then has gotten worse. These are the very same people who watched Fox News and listened to Limbaugh on a regular basis to get their information. They've noticed that some of the so-called news they received were blatant lies and distortions after fact checking. These people can no longer dicuss politics with their families because it usually ends in an argument.

  18. Kepi, My wife and I have both left the Republican party for the exact same reasons the you have stated in your post.I'm sure there are many more people out there that have done the same thing. The facts speak for thenselves.Keep up with the good posting.

  19. kepi, Vernos, notacon, sam,

    Love your posts. I am another ex-Republican who left the right wing extremism for God and humanity, maybe a little earlier than some of you. We are all members of the XRep Club.

    My journey in faith changed my perspective considerably.

    Important disclosure: God isn't owned by anyone. Neither, Republicans, nor Democrats, nor any politics, nor any race, nor any ideology or philosophy, nor any particular religion or denomination, nor any nation.

    It is we who are the cause and effect of everything else on Earth, for good or bad.

    Think of extremists as stationary lights in a dark tunnel. They help those passing through to make it to the other side to the real light.

    In that real light, I learned to evaluate on the basis of how people effect the lives of other people, and are stewards of all else we have the privilege to enjoy and sustains us.

    There have been some exceptional examples in the last century, and all were focused on caring, peace and justice for people.

    These courageous examples were immersed in Love. Their passion was for all people, through the unconditional Love they had for all.

    They are the true models that we can be inspired by to become more than the power game politics offers, more than what ideologies or philosophies offer.

    The great examples embodied so much more with Love as their inspiration, guide, and strength.

    So, regardless of who wins the election, it is the People who will find ways to continue doing good, with unconditional Love as their inspiration. With Love, we have courage to face all and do all.

    Who knows, perhaps more Republicans will join in unity with Democrats, without the labels, and work for the good of people, instead of power.

    Btw, I experienced the same family arguments. LOL

  20. Carmine,

    "'m not concerned with whether the republican party as we know it will be around in another 25 years. I'm concerned that if we have another 4 years with the same leaders at the helm, we won't have a country as we know around in 2016."

    We don't even have the country I knew during my prior years. We have had about 3 or 4 transitions throughout my lifetime, regardless of parties, and sometimes as a result of who was in the Whitehouse. In fact, some of those residents caused people to flee to new transitions.

    Many people have grown through the transitions, and that growth has made things better, in spite of those who could not make the transitions. However, only those who transition can see the "better".

    We have something akin to parallel worlds right here on earth. What one believes and sees depends on which one we are in. The one of Love or the one of Fear.

    Perhaps it was fear that kept some from transitioning into a better world. They remain is a bubble of fear.

    I would hope that there would be more transitions to a transformation the would be centered in love, peace, justice, and unity between people, and shared efforts to protect our Earth, which sustains our lives.

  21. kepi, thank you, and you warm my heart too. Good night!

  22. gerry, you always give such good information and insights. Thank you very much.

  23. Since the Republicans are pushed to the right by its extremists and the Democrats to the left by theirs, we have what I call 'Wizard of Oz politics': The Republicans are the party without a heart, and the Democrats are the party without a brain. The Libertarians have perhaps the best agenda (fiscally conservative and socially liberal) but they have been successfully marginalized by R's and D's as kooks not deserving of credibility and support. In my view, they deserve a closer look. And in the meantime, a moderate Mitt is our best option in this election.

  24. Michael,

    I really don't know what Romney is. He has changed depending on who will support his goals.

    Romney has been liberal and a conservative moving moderate, having been a conservative to get nominated.

    Can you imagine him getting the Republican nomination if he were still a liberal? LOL

    When he was a liberal, he was running for office in a liberal state.

    You consider him a moderate, so I guess he is for you. For Tea Party people, I guess he is a conservative. He certainly wouldn't be considered a liberal.

    I can't help but ask, what does he really believe, if anything? I haven't a clue.

    It is the same with questions like, what loopholes will he close?

    What deductions will he close, regardless of his impromptu, offhand speculative example of the "bucket".

    Add to that, how will he offset his enormous debt increasing plan of tax cuts? Plus adding to the military budget? Cutting spending? Cutting what?

    Will he get the rich who are sitting on trillions of dollars to part with some of that to create jobs? Or will he simply ask them to start buying to boost consumerism?

    What will happen if when he isn't President, will they go back to sitting on their trillions? Is that moderate?

    Why would he think privatizing a safety net is good, especially when it is to move to the place that is behind the mess we have now?

    Does he really give a damn about people?

    Why does he think Obamacare is bad when it is Romneycare? Why was the mandate bad in Obamacare, but OK in Romneycare? Was that his ticket to nomination by the right?

    Why does he seem to want get us into another another war, cold or hot, when we still have two that aren't paid for?

    Does he plan to use the military industrial complex to give a false image of economic health? Is he planning on capitalizing on this through some scheme that is not covered in his Presidential trust, if elected?

    Why is he planning on facilitating the increase the offshoring of jobs and facilitating more tax haven investments for corporations?

    Another question I have, is Mr. Romney planning on cutting jobs and sinking wages lower? That is a very real possibility given his business experience. Certainly, this is very likely as he does a slash and burn in the federal government.

    I think Romney's history shows that he will embrace Ayn Rand's objectivism as a pragmatic approach to governance of the US, and his VP choice of Ryan supports that possibility.

    Romney still has investments and pension funds in Bain Capital, so he is still profitting off of the companies in China that have removed jobs for Americans. Will he do more of that in his plans for more Trade Agreements?

    The problem with taking such action that Romney proposes is the effects, and what can result from the effects.

    I seriously question whether Romney actually has any ability to care or have empathy for people who are not wealthy or Mormon, his kind.

  25. Randall,

    IMO, Libertarians are, in general, simply more liberal Republicans. That is why they will vote for Romney instead of their own candidate.

    Maybe Whigs are more moderate Republicans, or more traditional Republicans.

    If what I state is erroneous, so is categorizing all Democrats as liberals.

    This labeling game is so stupid in the first place. Yet, we all fall into the trap, which serves the corrupt political system so well.

    Regardless, of who you support, I respect your decision and don't want to disparage you for that decision.

  26. Teamster,

    Interesting comment about Romney in government with his role in his church.

    I don't know if he still holds a lay pastor position. I don't think that would be such a problem, but I don't now Mormonism, so I can't judge. I leave that to the more informed.

    He doesn't speak much about his religion or his role. I guess it might bring more scrutiny.

    I remember when the Pope demanded that all priests withdraw from political office, and Father Drinan retired from his House seat. He had kept his religious beliefs separate from his role as a Representative in the House, representing all people.

    Maybe Romney can do the same, I don't know.

    Everyone with an active faith is influenced by it, whether in government or not, and some more than others. We can see that in the most extreme cases absolutely trying to inflict their beliefs on others through legislation.

    It would seem a Constitutional issue when it goes to the extreme.

  27. "I don't know if he still holds a lay pastor position"

    I am not an authority on LDS/Mormonism. But, I know more than most about the religion.

    Governor Romney held a position of bishop [in charge of a ward] and stake president [in charge of several wards]. Neither is forever and is entirely volunteer. As a political figure, either campaigning or in office, Mormons cannot hold a Church position.

    WRT the military, Mormons can and do serve if they choose to. We have a volunteer army and have since Viet Nam. Noone has to go into the military. Governor Romney, during Viet Nam, was granted a religious deferment to serve his mission in France. He had no say in where he did his Church service, nor do Mormons today. [And by the way, they pay a monthly amount to do it. They are not paid during their service.] When Governor Romney finished his mission, the war was winding down and NO TROOPS were being sent to Southeast Asia based on a moratorium that President Nixon instituted in 1971. The moratorium continued until all US troops were withdrawn from Viet Nam.


  28. FWIW and WRT Mormonism as a Christian religion: Every religious leader I talk to and read, EVERY, Catholic, Protestant, Jew and Muslim, say unequivocally that Mormonism is a Christian religion.


  29. LOL

    Dots as an issue......OMH!

    Still LOL!

  30. "Carmine......

    Romney's religious beliefs are a secret for a reason.

    If voters voters knew them, they wouldn't vote
    for him in a million years."

    Wrong again. Every LDS/Mormon Church has a sign outside saying: "All are welcome." If you want to learn more about LDS/Mormons, just have to attend their services and ask them. They will give you a free copy of the Book of Mormon too, for the asking. Or next time the Mormon elders come knocking on your door, invite them in. And they'll tell you whatever you want to know about them and their religion. That's why the Mormons [called elders], like Governor Romney, go on Church missions. To evangelize. All over the country and the world.


  31. WRT Governor Romney not serving, it's simple. I posted the reasons above. Here it is again. Governor Romney served in France as a missionary during Viet Nam allowing him a deferment for religious service. When he completed his mission, the US was pulling troops out of Viet Nam, and the military was downsizing and getting poised to go to a voluntary draft army.


  32. Extremism? Yes, Obama has been that!