voice for democracy

Letter: Republicans depend on keeping people outraged – Reading Eagle

Republicans have dog-whistled racism since Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy, Ronald Reagan’s welfare queens, and George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad. Supporters of George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign suggested John McCain fathered a black child. Donald Trump championed the Birthers. Now it’s critical race theory.
Many right-wing media outlets use outrage as a business model. Parents, infuriated by a firehose of falsehoods, are storming school boards to prevent the teaching of CRT. It doesn’t exist in grades K-12, it’s a law school subject. Newsmax, OANN, and Fox News together castigated CRT 2,997 times in one month, according to Media Matters. Free speech is demanded for liars, but not for American history teachers.
Parents claim their children are upset to read that America isn’t perfect, that our forebears committed sins while building our exceptional democracy. Does anyone wonder, or care, whether children are upset by active-shooter drills?
Episodes of book banning throughout history never ended well. Education means taking in wide-ranging information, then using it to improve lives, sometimes doing the opposite of what you learned others have done.
Incessant lies about voter fraud are destroying democracy, which is impossible without accepting election results. Lies about COVID-19 vaccines are killing people. The conservative American Enterprise Institute says 33% of white Christian Republicans still believe QAnon.
The Jan. 6 insurrection and subsequent whitewashing show Republican claims to support law and order are absurd. But denying facts and keeping people outraged works really well for them.
Jane Beck
Brecknock Township
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