To the editor: Republicans in both their recent impressive electoral successes and in their congressional debates have asserted three themes that I hope my Republican friends will be aware of before they vote.
First, of course, is former President Donald Trump’s repeated insistence that election fraud led to his defeat. I will suggest in a minute that Trump’s assertion is actually a coded message about something deeper and more scary.
Second, the GOP’s repeated insistence that the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill is “socialism” or even “communism” ignores the fact that those two political philosophies wanted governments to actually run, as opposed to regulate, factories and so forth that they called “the means of production.” By contrast, even if the original BBB bill had passed — it is now close to half its original cost — U.S. spending on social, medical and climate issues as a percentage of our gross national product would have been about the same as that of our major European allies.
Third is the fear that critical race theory will be taught in our schools. I believe that I am correct in asserting that no American K-12 school currently teaches this. Nor, I am willing to bet, have many of the theory’s critics read what the authors of the theory actually wrote.
Racial fear, I believe, is what unites these three historically inaccurate assertions. Conservative Republicans apparently believe that the Democrats will encourage left-wing intellectuals to teach that whites are bad; pass out massive handouts designed to build an urban, heavily minority base; and then ensure victory by using fraudulent tactics to steal the next election. Unfortunately, that is such a scary thought that it encourages many people to overlook the actual facts. It is also an insult to common sense and basic decency of Republicans and Democrats on both sides of our current, deeply troubling political divide. Please think, folks, before next you vote.
Peter Frost, Williamstown