Rudolph Fillinger | The Despicable Left and Right

Letters to the Editor
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It’s that time again when the airwaves, mailboxes and emails are filled with empty promises of prosperity, increased physical and financial security, improved health care and elimination of COVID-19 restrictions. In other words, it’s election time and the politicians are in rare form: lying to the voters, eliminating some of our fundamental rights while threating Social Security and health care benefits, destroying our purchasing power, not to mention the planet, while asking for our votes. Adam Kinzinger said it best, “I’m politically homeless.” I agree! I hate all politicians separately but not necessarily equally! 

I find the Republicans have a propensity to embrace the “dark side” of humanity, supporting Donald Trump’s “Big Lie,” calling for the Proud Boys to “Stand Back and Stand By” while encouraging his supporters to take back the government. He continues to support unsavory candidates accused of sexual assault as well as other nefarious activities. 

Our own Rep. Mike Garcia supports the “Big Lie” while claiming he voted to decertify presidential election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania to protect our rights. “My objection to the electoral votes of two states was not an attempt to overturn the results of the election, it was to fulfill my duty to protect the rights of the men and women of California’s 25th District who elected me to serve them and stand up for their rights.” (“Garcia stands behind objection to presidential election results,” The Signal, Jan. 7, 2021). 

What happened to supporting the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill? In Georgia, Republican David Perdue embraces election denialism as a political strategy in his run for governor. Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin continues his crusade to deny the existence of racism in America by banning certain books he finds unsavory, including those that include the history of slavery and the Holocaust. 

The bigotry, hate, and sheer depravity of the Republican Party is in full bloom. 

Sen. Mitch McConnell should take a bow. He has stacked the federal courts and the Supreme Court with right-wing zealots. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “suggested Muslims do not belong in government; Black people are held slaves to the Democratic Party; and George Soros, a Jewish Democratic megadonor, is a Nazi.” (“House Republicans leaders condemn GOP candidate who made racist videos,” Ally Mutnick/Melanie Zangna, Politico, June 18, 2020). Despite Republicans initially condemning her racist opinions when she was a candidate for the House from Georgia, House Republicans including Garcia and Rep. Kevin McCarty supported Greene when Democrats called for her removal.  

Furthermore, Trump has vowed to kill payroll taxes that fund Social Security (“Opinion: Why you might not know that Trump is threatening your Social Security,” Paul Brandus, Market Watch, Sept. 5, 2020), while McConnell champions the Republicans’ assault on the LGBTQ community, women’s health care as well as democracy itself. For years Republican budget guru Paul Ryan argued that taxes as well as the deficit were too high and that entitlements including Social Security and Medicare needed to be cut (“Paul Ryan and the GOP Congress should scale back Medicare and Social Security this year,” Christian Schneider, USA Today, April 23, 2018). 

During the Trump administration, Republicans launched attacks infringing on LGBTQ rights. The disparity in rights between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ communities increased as Republicans blatantly ignored LGBTQ issues related to health, education and employment. The recent leak of the Supreme Court majority opinion regarding abortion rights (“What we know about the investigation into the Supreme Court leak,” Devan Cole et al, Politico, May 3, 2022) makes it clear that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. 

What other rights will the Republican right attack? Perhaps the First Amendment will be repealed. After all, Trump raged that the press was the enemy of the people.

Then there are the Democrats, who’ve never met a problem they couldn’t solve by creating some new fee or imposing new taxes. While I love living in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his fellow Democrats in Sacramento are making life in sunny California unaffordable to average Americans, especially retired senior citizens. Attempting to feed and house the homeless, and provide everyone in California with free medical services and education, is admirable, but the cost is driving citizens and companies out of California. Current fiscal policies at the federal and state levels are driving up inflation, thus diluting our purchasing power, forcing many retired senior citizens back into the workforce. 

Our physical security continues to be threatened by the liberal policies of L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón. Unfortunately, Gascón’s sweeping criminal justice reforms have led to a spike in homicides and other violent crimes, prompting calls for his immediate recall. 

In addition to their miscues on crime, Democrats have failed to pass any meaningful legislation regarding climate change. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently spoke at the Aspen Ideas: Climate festival regarding ideas on climate change proposed by House Democrats. Unfortunately, her remarks were more a litany of missed opportunities, according to Robinson Meyer of the Atlantic (“The Democrats Really are that Dense About Climate Change,” May 14, 2022). When asked by Susan Goldberg, recent editor in chief of National Geographic, whether Democrats were going to pass climate legislation, Pelosi all but ignored the question. I guess climate change really isn’t a Democratic priority. Meanwhile, California suffers through the worst drought in years. The recent fires in Orange County are a prime example of failed leadership with respect to climate change. 

Regardless of your political affiliation, every voter should be appalled by the lack of leadership and the failure of politicians to support and defend the Constitution. Each member of Congress as well as the president takes an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Today politicians defend their own agendas while supporting their radical right-wing or left-wing party platforms. Their only interest is in destroying their opposition as they fight for power and money. Autocracy is on the rise throughout the world. Every voter must choose their representatives carefully. While the economy should be a priority, democracy itself should be paramount when voters cast their ballots. Your future as well as the future of our democracy depends on your vote! Choose wisely. 

Rudolph Fillinger

Valencia

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