An Elephant in the Room

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Dear Editor:

What has happened to conservatism in the U.S.? Conservatism produced recent icons such as Goldwater, McCain, Buckley, Kemp. Now we have venality coming from the likes of Hawley and Cruz. Trump will probably be acquitted, but even though he is out of office, it is like a surgeon leaving half a tumor still in the body with those other two still in the Senate.

Conservative mantra used to be “with rights come responsibilities.” No more. Armed thugs claiming to support the 2nd Amendment invade state legislatures and the National Capitol. I doubt this is what the founding fathers wanted when they composed the 2nd Amendment. After all, the first four words are “a well regulated militia.” Regardless of the first amendment, words have consequences and should be chosen carefully by those in power. Yet many of today’s conservatives are perfectly fine with Trump’s incitement of terrorism. In 1968, at the Mexico City Olympics, two Black American sprinters stood on the podium and raised their fists skyward. They caught holy hell for that gesture. This is exactly what Senator Hawley did as he urged the terrorist mob on to the Capitol. He needs to catch holy hell!

Conservatives supposedly stand for limited government. Is it limited government to have the government “invade” a woman’s bedroom to tell a woman what to do with her own body? And then make it more difficult for her to access health care? Conservatives talk about “American Exceptionalism.” How does that jibe with a Black service member leaving the military after wearing the uniform and then encountering difficulty voting? Today’s conservatives do not believe in accountability; they are perfectly willing to devote themselves to a man whose denials and mismanagement oversaw the deaths of 450,000 (and counting) of their fellow citizens.

There is one simple elephant (metaphor intentional) in the room. They will not demonstrate (for the most part) any courage for one simple reason. They are afraid of getting “primaried” in their next election. Perhaps they should look at the last six words of the Pledge of Allegiance, “with liberty And justice for all.” Then they might graduate from being “bumper-sticker” patriots to being real patriots.

Rick Saunders, Chincoteague