My apology to those Norwich List readers, who say I should express my political views elsewhere, for interrupting 'Tranquilityville' with this message: I believe those who say that I should go on twitter, facebook, blogging forums and other media to express my views on politics, and not express my opinions locally, here, on the Norwich List, are ignoring a certain reality.
It has been said that “All politics is local”. And since conservative extremism has already “gone local”, it’s even more important that the “locals” of Norwich, and other communities, pay attention to what's happening in Vermont, neighboring New Hampshire and nationwide. It is my opinion that American right wing extremism has gained power, to a great extent, because it has gone unopposed, and certainly has been unmatched in terms of support for its cause by wealthy conservative contributors, the GOP, religious and other conservative entities.
In essence, American extremist groups have gone “granular”, meaning that for political reasons they have embedded themselves within local communities and businesses, religious organizations, etc. They have gotten themselves elected to small (and large) community governments, school boards, the boards of non-profit businesses and organizations, and more. For example: In Jefferson County, Colorado, three Tea Party conservatives were elected to the Jefferson County School Board (with help from the GOP, the Koch brothers, and other conservative groups and donors), giving them the majority on the five-member board. This conservative majority immediately applied their extremist Tea Party agenda to the educational curriculum, teachers’ pay and benefits, and initiated a school voucher program redirecting publican funds to private, religious-oriented education in addition to other extreme actions. The agenda of these three school board members was so extreme and disruptive – they were recalled and replaced by Jefferson County voters.
Still don’t believe “All politics is local”? The Republican-controlled New Hampshire General Assembly has spent much of its time and resources trying to pass a bill that would allow anyone in the State, who can legally own as gun, to carry that gun concealed, pretty much anywhere, anytime. The bill was vetoed by Governor Maggie Hassan. In response, NRA-Republicans spent even more effort trying to override that veto – and have failed twice. At that same time, New Hampshire Republicans also spent considerable time and resources on the so-called “Nipple Bill”, a law banning women from going topless at public beaches and other public places (The bill initially banned mothers from breastfeeding in public but that article of the bill was removed). The penalty for a second violation under this proposed law would have a woman register as a sex offender for at least 10 years and face the possibility of jail time. This extremist bill was eventually defeated:https://www.rt.com/usa/334035-gop-lawmaker-nipple-bill/.https://politics.concordmonitor.com/2016/03/gov-state/aclu-of-n-h-nipple-bill-may-make-protesters-into-sex-offenders/. Jobs and other important legislation? Apparently only conservative “wedge issues” rate top billing and state government resources in New Hampshire: A woman's exposed breast is considered by Republicans far more dangerous to society than a loaded, concealed weapon - carried by whoever.
We ignore GOP extremism at our own peril. On the national level, how did GOP extremism to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate? People failed to vote in the past two mid-term elections, allowing Republican extremists to take control of both houses of Congress. Apparently, demoralizing rhetoric and voter suppression work!
1960’s Quotes by conservative Barry Goldwater on conservatism, and religious extremism: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/369997.Barry_M_Goldwater
This all being said, I repeat my posting of March 26th on dailyuv:
In my opinion, the GOP has officially taken religious and political extremism mainstream to the detriment of our economy, political system, national security and American way of life. With its refusal to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination – in violation of our constitution – the GOP has hit an extremist tipping point that I hope will finally bring the Grand Old Party down.
Decades ago, the GOP courted the religious right and got more than it wished for. Now, we are arguing centuries-old issues that have no place in a modern, secular society. And the only way to deal with this extremism is to look squarely at the source, be aware of it – and oppose it. Here are a few examples of Republican extremism that rational, intelligent people, who believe in a true democracy, should be aware of:
Voter suppression in North Caroling:
Republican voter suppression in Arizona:
“Voters endured long waits to use one of Maricopa County's 60 polling stations Tuesday. There were at least 200 polling stations in 2012, but Republican officials said they decreased the number to save money”: