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Opinion: Republicans have a long way to go before earning this vote
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The Times published a letter in the June 9-10 edition outlining what the Republican Party has to offer for independent voters. 

I consider myself an independent voter, so I found this letter interesting. However I believe the writer failed to address some of the other negative aspects of the current Republican Party. I will try to outline some other baggage that will come along with them.

In the first paragraph the writer states we should put aside the fears that the current GOP has embraced the commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of Donald J Trump.” That is a big put aside as many members of the GOP are not just refraining from speaking ill of the former president; they are actively supporting his big election lie. How can anyone just put aside the fact the actions of this man have shaken the foundation of our democracy? With no evidence of any election fraud, he instructed a mob to attack the Capitol to stop the certification of the election. 

Before I will be comfortable with the Republican Party back in power, I will have to see the party rid itself of members like our own Congressman Andrew Clyde who has referred to those involved Jan. 6 as appearing like tourists and Marjorie Taylor Green who has believed QAnon conspiracies.  

That the Republican Party is actively pursuing legislation in many states (including Georgia) that would curtail voting accessibility is something else I see as an independent voter that is not in the best interest of our country. 

I believe both parties support legal immigration. Both parties have members with distorted views of how to manage our borders. This country has a history that has served us well for many years of humane immigration policies that allow people who are seeking asylum a path to enter the country. At this time the Republican view of immigration has taken the humanity out of their immigration policies. 

States rights are a foundation of our Constitution but oversight of state actions is an important part of that same Constitution. It is how slavery was ended, and without oversight we would not be a country, just a collection of small independent countries. 

One of the foundation planks of the Republican Party has been fiscal responsibility, but in the last 20-plus years I have not seen either party show much fiscal responsibility.

As far as Republicans being the “law and order” party, I would say they must do a better job applying law and order more equally to all our citizens before they would get my vote back. 

I believe the current Republican Party has leaders who are only looking back for greatness and not looking forward to see how our country is going to lead the world in the future. Science, technology and culture are advancing at a rate never seen before and we need forward-looking leaders to keep our country ahead of the pack. I for one do not see that leadership coming from the Republican Party. 

Tom Vivelo

Flowery Branch

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