Letter to the Editor printed in the Tampa Bay Times 5/6/17 (full version):
Millions of people have protested peacefully around the world in the months since our election yet conservative commentators continue to focus on a few thugs at Berkeley as if they represent all the rest of us. Though minority factions of violent radicals fringe both sides of the political spectrum, the list of hate groups on the right far exceeds the list on the left. Peggy Noonan’s recent editorializing (reprinted in this publication) that “cursing pols, anathematizing abortion advocates, the screeching students…are now the face of the progressive left” perpetuates this myopic Republican paranoia. Perhaps Peggy hasn’t met us.
In the Tampa Bay area we are thousands of unpaid volunteers in dozens of groups who are only loosely affiliated, if at all, with any political party. We are nonpartisan, nonviolent, inclusive and diverse and our numbers are growing daily. We have clear goals and specific plans. Our battle is not left versus right, but right versus wrong. Our vision for America is one fundamentally based on common sense and decency.
- It is not acceptable to us that white supremacists have been given positions of power in our government.
- It is not acceptable that people who lie under oath and break the law are confirmed to high positions.
- It is not acceptable that campaign donations matter more to some politicians than the health and welfare of their constituents.
- It is not acceptable that our President continues to try to hide his financial entanglements while
blatantly using his office for personal profit.
- The President’s inexperienced and unqualified family members should not be serving as American diplomats.
- The State Department doesn’t need a 31% budget cut and the loss of most of their senior staff when we are inching closer to nuclear war.
- We believe appointing an ambassador to South Korea and filling dozens of other unmanned posts should take precedence over golfing.
- We believe discrimination against women is wrong and energy independence is a national security matter which will require renewable options.
- Neither political party should be stalling and obstructing the investigation into Russia’s interference with our election, but since they are, an independent prosecutor is
- Making secret deals with foreign governments to get elected is not acceptable.
- Wedon’t want more undocumented immigrants but seek more effective long term solutions.
- We’re not interested in tax plans that benefit the super rich and balloon the deficit.
- We believe health care can be both affordable and accessible.
- Cutting government waste can be done without gutting the agencies that protect us.
- Supporting development can be done without destroying the environment.
- Conservation of resources can be achieved without abandoning the poor.
- Respectable people who know what they are doing should be running the country.
These are not radical ideas and we are not extremists. We are not out of control or ignorant, we
can’t be carelessly labeled and we won’t be easily recruited. We are your neighbors and friends
and co-workers who are often quietly frustrated and sometimes deeply angry. Across this state
and the nation we are the majority of Americans who are determined to make our country great again by restoring some semblance of integrity to the political process and some dignity and
compassion to our democracy. Politicians from either side who will stretch across the divide
and work with us to achieve this will win our support and, most likely, upcoming elections. In the
meantime we’ll continue to listen and learn and organize and properly introduce ourselves to
those who may have been misinformed. Nice to meet you.
Dr. Linda Jack
Originally printed in the Tampa Bay Times