A few days ago I received an email survey from Rep. Fred Keller’s office. The survey had a checklist of choices to select from to indicate what our greatest concerns are for our country. We could select from the list or add one of our own. My greatest concern was not listed so I added it to the list and submitted it.

My greatest concern right now is that Congressman Keller and his party are doing all they can to destroy our country’s democratic system of government. While our democracy has been greatly weakened by the power of the rich and corporations, it has never been under such a direct threat from one of the two major political parties in this country. The Republican Party has chosen to use the “big lie” to somehow justify their actions, but each new bogus claim and demanded recount underlines the fact that their despicable, treasonous, and seditious leader lost the election. Undercutting the credibility of our elections will and is doing great damage to one of the foundations of our democracy.

Using the lie, they have in state after state been working and passing laws in to limit access to the ballot. If you can’t win elections, there are two ways to react. You can work harder to convince voters to vote for you or you can keep the voters you don’t like from voting. The Republicans have chosen the second option. While voter ID cards seem to be a common sense approach, they can simply be rigged by what the law allows to be used for such identification. While it seems to be a simple task for the average middle class citizen to have such identification, it may be far more difficult for those who are poor and/or aging. Voting places should be accessible to all, but you can limit voting simply by reducing polling places and their location. The poor may not have transportation readily available to them.

My second greatest concern for our country is that one of its two major political parties has chosen ignorance and denial of the truth and evidence to base their political actions to support their benefactors. It has been more than 30 years since James Hanson testified about the oncoming climate crisis. During this time Republicans have chosen climate denial and factual ignorance and have fought all attempts to take-on the coming crisis. I have heard one on one from Fred Keller and his willful ignorance on climate change. Republicans have chosen Exxon’s profits over our safety and the nation’s wellbeing.

Now that the crisis has already begun and is visible to all with eyes, ears, and a modicum of rational thinking, they use the lie that we can’t afford to act to modify and reduce the effects of this crisis, but we have no rational choice but to take this crisis head-on. The cost of not acting will far exceed the costs of acting. Can you put a dollar sign on the human suffering that follows a severe storm? Somehow the Republicans can always justify spending more to subsidize the corporations and reduce their taxes and taxes on the rich, but we never seem to have enough to help ordinary people. They have turned on its head the idea of giving to the poor by giving to the rich. They keep telling us they are fiscal conservatives when they moan about national debt, but by a factor of 10, the debt incurred since Richard Nixon took office has been occurred under Republican presidents when compared to Democratic presidents. The greatest increase was during the Trump Administration. Their promotion of ignorance on the pandemic is just another of their dangerous actions.

There is one very important quality missing in all the lies and deceptions propagated by Fred and Trump’s merry men, integrity. Fred Keller along with most of his party’s leaders have failed to stand up against the lies of Donald Trump and Exxon and demonstrated a clear lack of integrity. People with integrity stand up in defense of the truth.

Jack D. Miller lives in Lewisburg.

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