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Letter: Negative political tone is reflected in recent GOP-backing letters
Student protesters march up Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill on March 14, 2018, in Washington. They walked out of school to protest gun violence in the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged in response to last month’s massacre of 17 people at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

I should commend Gary Hulsey and Gary Gambrell on their recent efforts to give President Donald Trump’s public image a shoe shine. Plenty of polish helps reduce the appearance of damage Trump has done to himself in more ways than one. However, I don’t need to feel better about Trump by rehashing old conservative smears made against President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party. When you don’t have much positive material to run on, the traditional option is to go negative on the opposition. That’s what they did, and I think it’s a sign of desperation. 

I’m not surprised that Gambrell’s letter was subsequently praised by Dick Biggs to reinforce the smears against Obama and Democrats. This appears to be a well-coordinated propaganda campaign.

I read John Bryan’s letter warning readers to beware of progressive candidates funded by “American oligarchs from California and New York.” He cites Michael Bloomberg (New York) and infers others like George Soros, Warren Buffet and Haim Saban. Oddly Mr. Bryan neglected to mention the out-of-state billionaires who consistently fund Republicans and conservative causes with even more money. Allow me to correct that oversight: The list includes Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, investment company founder Charles Schwab, Hobby Lobby founder David Green, Estée Lauder heir Ron Lauder, Koch Industries co-founder Charles Koch and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch. 

If current conservative pro-gun positions reflect their thinking, it appears they won’t be happy until guns are allowed in every bar, church, school, hospital and public building in this state. If Bryan wants to block out-of-state oligarchs from funding Georgia political candidates, he really should include these guys, too.

Approximately 92 percent of the money contributed to political organizations by wealthy individuals and corporations goes to super PACs, which run opposition research, smear campaigns and attack ads. That’s why most Americans think our politics is permanently in the gutter.

One example of this ugly politics was the confirmation hearing of newly seated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It didn’t have to be that way, and wouldn’t if we had taken steps earlier to allow retiring justices to pick their own replacements. Under that arrangement, presidents would still nominate candidates and Congress would still confirm them, but they would go into a permanent pool of candidates from which a justice would pick his or her preferred replacement. In that manner, a conservative justice could select from a number of conservative nominees and a progressive justice could do likewise. This would eliminate partisan bickering over nominees. 

More importantly, it would not matter who controlled the White House or Congress when a justice retired. Imagine our relief as the replacement process concludes elegantly and quietly instead of the mess we’ve got now.

Lastly, Brian Kemp’s plan to provide health insurance for Georgians offers nothing for the sick, elderly, and poor. His web site offers seven words that seem to say “go away.” Don’t settle for that. 

Bruce Vandiver


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