Brian Richards | The Party of Tolerance?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Frequent contributor Thomas Oatway penned a letter recently (April 7) decrying what he believes is fascism that is running rampant in this country. One can assume from his words that the threat he is talking about are Republicans, conservatives and religious people. 

In other words, the 75 million people who voted for President Donald Trump in 2020.

There is nothing groundbreaking in his words or his accusations. However, one line at the end caught my attention. 

He said, quote, “We have to rid ourselves of this menace.” Some of the synonyms for “rid” are eliminate, purge, eradicate and abolish. 

Apparently, according to Mr. Oatway, if you are among the millions who think abortion is murder, you should be eliminated. Apparently, according to Mr. Oatway, if you think drag shows for children are inappropriate, you should be purged. Apparently, according to Mr. Oatway, if you think transgender surgery and prescribing hormones on children is an abomination, you should be eradicated. 

I have authored letters recently decrying this nation’s inability to talk to the other side without hating the other side. To simply say, “I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree,” and doing so without vitriol or hate. If we cannot learn to tolerate other people’s opinions, where does that leave our nation? 

Mr. Oatway believes his very freedom is under assault and that our democracy is under attack. I wonder if he understands the irony of his words and that democracy can agree with your opinions or it can disagree with them. Is that not the very essence of a functioning democracy? (We’re actually a constitutional republic, but that’s another topic.) It’s clear he only thinks democracy is working when he gets his way.

Mr. Oatway’s words demonstrate that we have a long way to go. I would ask him a couple questions. Mr. Oatway, what do you mean you want to “get rid” of the menace? Are you saying you want to get rid of me because I disagree with almost everything you stand for? Are you saying you want to get rid of my opinions unless they mirror yours? 

I don’t believe you’re going to get 75 million people to think as you do, painful as that must be for you, so what’s your plan? 

You say your freedom and democracy is under attack. From my perspective, and I can probably speak for approximately half the country, you wanting to get rid of us and/or our positions is the very definition of fascism! It sounds like you would prefer one-party rule. What countries have we experienced in the last 100 years that only had one party rule? How did it work out for the people? Nazi Germany had one-party rule. The USSR, China, Venezuela and Cuba are just a few examples where they “got rid of” dissent and were ruled by one party. 

It seems the only way you’ll tolerate me is if I agree with everything you stand for, otherwise… what, exactly? 

Brian Richards

Stevenson Ranch

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS