The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 28, 2013

The Good Old Boy Club


---- — The GOP Boy's Club is "comically out of step" said Timothy Eagan of the New York Times. They oppose common sense legislation supported by a large majority of Americans, from universal background checks for gun sales to immigration reform. He further noted that in their parallel universe, democracy is dangerous and obstruction is the only goal.

As America becomes more diverse, Republicans dig into a 1950s mode. With a 33-seat advantage, they live in a fantasy nation where black and gay people don't exist and women should stay in the kitchen. They have their biggest support in talk radio and in states where extremism is no vice. Lets take a look at the make up after their strategic redrawing of districts. Of the 41 blacks in the house, 0 are Republican. Of 34 Latinos, 7 are Republican. Of 7 openly gays and bisexual members, 0 are Republican. Only 8 percent of Republican members are women.

The Republican states are easy to identify, just look and see which ones are opposing gay marriage, limiting the ease of obtaining the morning after pill and passing legislation to restrict abortion. North Dakota is a good example. It is trying to change the state constitution to specify that life begins at conception, essentially banning abortion.

It's a little scary, but there seems to be hope for the GOP. Phillip Longman in Foreign Policy noted, the more progressive and secular you are, the less likely you will have a large family and the more conservative and religious you are the more likely you will have a large family. For example, in religious Utah the birthrate is 92 children for every 1,000 women, the highest in the nation. By contrast, progressive Vermont has the lowest birth rate in the nation, just 51 children per 1,000 women.

It appears to promote progress in the future, we must insist on an education system that encourages originality, invention, creativeness and imaginative critical thinking skills instead of repetitive dogma and myth.

Carlyle W. Westlund, Middleburg