As the heartlessness of the congressional Republicans becomes more and more evident, one has to wonder if anything is compassionate in that party if it isn't politically advantageous for them. As the broken health care system, which leaves tens of millions of people with no insurance, raises the cost for insurance every year, increases the out of pocket expenses continuously and contributes huge amounts of money to the Republican politicians coffers, is worked on in Congress, I don't see any Republicans in the Congress willing to do anything to jeopardize their position in the pockets of the health care and pharmaceutical companies.
How quick they are to criticize the president for not interfering with the Iranian situation, which most experts in foreign policy believe would provide fuel to the current regime to attack the demonstrators. Still, Congressional Republicans advise a tough policy of interference over an election they say is known to be a stolen election. Does the name Katherine Harrison of Florida mean anything to you? How about Minnesota's senatorial election and Coleman's attempt to steal this one too.
Let's not forget Pawlenty unalloting funds that will cost thousands of jobs when funds are cut, all so that he can further his national career by cutting off the "poorest of the poor" from General Assistance Medical. His delaying of school systems funds throughout the state needed to operate for many months may require them to borrow, not interest free, to operate at all. This unprecedented move to make him look good for the Republican base has never been done at the start of a budget cycle, but he apparently doesn't care how many jobs are lost. The party that wants the president to fail is willing to sacrifice anyone who stands in the way of their political gains.
Online critics should use names
I'd like to propose a change for the Dispatch. When the Open Forum letters are posted online, the "comments" section should require usage of real names instead of user names. When someone writes a letter to the paper, you may not agree with them, but at least they had the basic decency to claim their opinions as their own.
We are living in a world where our kids are quickly learning that it's OK to say anything to anyone anywhere at any time without taking any responsibility for their words. I've read some of the comments posted after these letters online, and they go well beyond constructive argument. Some of the comments I've read have been the most insulting, slanderous, vile things that you can imagine saying to anyone, and I guarantee that these same people would never have the courage to say these things to the writer's face.
We are never going to solve any problems in this country if we can't keep a civil dialogue going with people we may disagree with. Calling someone names as though you're in kindergarten does not make them more open to your point of view. It just closes off the discussion. Believe me, I love to argue, constructively, about the issues I'm passionate about, and I'm a big proponent of free speech, but that free speech should come with the responsibility of being held accountable for what you say. Words matter.
And to the person who will undoubtedly be sending me another anonymous rant letter after this has been published, I would encourage you to do the right thing and at least use your name if you feel you must keep sending me things. As I wrote above, calling me names does not persuade me to your point of view.
Amy LaValle Hansmann
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