Letters to the Editor
November 9, 2023

The anger and fear in Mr. Shiells’ LTTE last week are not baseless. However, let’s acknowledge that, while a sitting president is considered “the most powerful man in the world,” Joe Biden could not have single-handedly masterminded the vast conspiracies, lack of humanity, deviant inequities, and dark order for which Ryan is sounding the alarm. Turning the “boob tube” off for news would help, but what are some solutions to our challenges?

Democracy is in decline in the world. The lightening-rapid massive changes in technology, Artificial Intelligence, rapid-repeat false information, the growing power of other countries, the effects of population, disease and the growing climate crisis, are overwhelming our long post-WWII complacency and expectations.

It is an historically settled fact that, when people are faced with great change, frightened of the future and a reduced chance of achieving their expectations, many find representative government too risky and difficult, and will yearn for a political “strong man” who will enforce order and “certainty,” and relieve them of the burden of decision. History has many examples, and the “strong man” never returns power willingly, as we have recently seen for ourselves.
Ryan hints at other unspecified villains in his apocalyptic future, including multi-national corporations, “a small club of globalist bankers who finance both the rebuilding and the destruction and death of other humans,” along with the “Biden regime” and US government for “turning future generations into debt slaves” and “seek[ing] to destroy and impoverish all of us.”

But when Democrats try to level the economic inequity by imposing additional taxes on the wealthy, Republicans repeatedly refuse such a “socialist” act. Instead, Republicans want to place the debt burden on the middle class and poor in cuts to Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They allowed the child tax credit to expire and sent nearly 5 million children back into poverty, voted against Medicare’s authority to negotiate for drug prices and tried to defund the IRS program to target wealthy tax cheats, oppose workers’ unions, endorse deregulation, vote to reduce food and housing assistance to poor families, and vow to extend the Trump Tax Cut which primarily benefits the very rich.

A 20-mule team of Republican Speaker-candidates and rank-and-file have decided not to negotiate a 2024 budget, but to vote on individual appropriations to grind and delay the system. What they really want is a one-Party, strong central system of government (though they hawk “small government”), erasure of the boundaries between Church and State, White straight male culture dominance, continued SCOTUS protection of the wealthiest citizens and corporations, denial of half the population’s rights to reproductive choice, persecution or denial of the LGBTQ community, and an authoritarian oligarch who has conspicuously demonstrated his lack of respect for the system of law as it applies to his interests. And apparently the Republican electorate is on board for it all.

Governance of The Free requires negotiated agreement between the political Parties for the welfare of the country. Many of the inequities Ryan lists could be quashed in just that democratic exercise. Which the Republican Congress refuses to do. I hope they are listening to you, Ryan.

Kelly Scoles