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Opinion: We must argue politics on shared set of facts

A longtime friend of mine has publicly declared “war” on me based on his fictional world invented by the Republican Party.

That Democrat and Republican partisans passionately disagree on policy and values is not new or surprising — the system was designed that way. What is new is that the current Republican establishment is knowingly propagating objectively verifiable lies that have led to COVID-19 deaths on the scale of a 9/11 worth of deaths every day and has led directly and predictably to the bloody American coup d’état of 2021. 

What is new is that social media has been effectively weaponized and used by the Republican Party to isolate citizens from actual reality. It insulates them in a bubble of demagogic lies calculated to incite pitchfork-wielding peasants to violence in the service of an autocratic seditionist who, in reality, despises them and undermines them at every turn.

Republican Party leadership has knowingly and effectively brought death and insurrection to America for the purpose of advancing their political and economic power through violence. As such, the party deserves to be labeled as an instigator of domestic terrorism.

Only when the current form of the Republican Party has been destroyed and replaced with a reality-based political party to represent conservative values, can we return to healthy and productive conversations about the real issues we face such as:

  • Pandemic response
  • Health care
  • Race
  • Poverty and the systemic redistribution of wealth
  • Conservative and liberal values

I call on every elected official to put partisan politics aside and unequivocally: 

  1. Denounce violence as a means to political ends. 
  2. Denounce Republican Party leadership for fomenting violence and insurrection. 
  3. Denounce this president and call for his removal via resignation, 25th amendment or impeachment. 
  4. Commit to truth-based political discussion, most urgently as it relates to this deadly pandemic. 

We don’t have the luxury of agreeing to disagree about basic facts any more. Good folk of all political persuasions must talk frankly with one another. Must insist on fact-based arguments. Must agree to change their minds based on evidence. Lies must be revealed and respect for truth must be restored. 

This is going to be hard. 

Jeffrey A. Gilbert


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