We might share many of the same values and have much more in common than the printed word indicates

ATHENS — Sandy Golden takes me to task for not practicing what I preach. While appreciating Ms. Golden's reminder of the importance of walking the talk, a reminder I can always use, I would also argue that my essay is not a good example of my failure to do so.

In contrast to my insistence that a “functioning democracy is all about valuing life, valuing each other,” Ms. Golden maintains that I contradict myself when I write that the Republican Party, and many of its supporters, are “waging war against democracy” and are acting like “an incipient fascist outlier.” She insists that, to the contrary, I am polarizing people into “an us-versus-them, demonizing [of] the other,” and hence exhibiting “a total failure to value each other.”

I would respectfully suggest that calling out such recent Republican actions (e.g., the gerrymandering of voting districts to favor Republican candidates; enactment of voter suppression laws in Republican-controlled state legislatures, as well as ones that allow for partisan tampering of election results; perpetuation of the ex-president's Big Lie that President Biden stole the election; the filibustering by Senate Republicans of a bipartisan investigation of the Trump-instigated Jan. 6 insurrection; and so forth) is, in fact, a good example of valuing and standing up for life, in this case, the life of our fragile democracy, and against the danger that the Republican Party currently represents to it.

This is something I would highly recommend that we all need to be doing! The “one-party rule” that she claims my piece is calling for is, in fact, the very thing I am opposing in the Republicans' transparent effort to cement their own minority rule by gaming the system.

Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, however, I suspect that Sandy Golden and I are a lot closer in our viewpoints than these exchanges might indicate.

Certainly the fact that she feels deeply about “valuing life, valuing each other” is highly suggestive that a face-to-face over a cuppa might reveal that we share many of the same values and have much more in common than the printed word indicates.

I appreciate her strong voice for what we both stand for.

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