I recently wrote about Sarah. If you read the article, you know that Sarah loves her country and is concerned for the future because of the horrid things being done by the political establishment in Washington.
Today, I am writing about Thomas who lives in Waynesboro. You will see that his perception of reality is quite different.
I will begin with a disclaimer. The Waynesboro Republican Committee strives to be characterized by high purpose, rational thought, historical knowledge and good humor. The Committee treats everyone with dignity and respect, including those with whom we may disagree on matters of substance. That is the prism through which I write.
Two weeks ago, I received an email from Thomas (not his real name). The message that I quote below is intact, although I have made minor corrections of punctuation.
Let’s get right to it. Thomas begins by writing, “I noted the Republican Party had dropped their commitment to the middle class, and had started to push for tax relief for the very rich. Also, the party was in danger of falling under the influence of those religious crazies, the Tea Party!”
My response to the opening salvo is that a recent Pew Foundation study finds that Republicans are mostly middle class folks, while Democrats are mostly very wealthy people and those struggling at the bottom of the economic ladder.
Concerning “religious crazies,” I presume that Thomas is referring to Christians and not Muslims. It is hard to comprehend that anyone, especially someone who lives in our midst, could believe such a thing about his neighbors.
It gets better. “The Tea Party is against almost everything. They oppose women’s rights, birth control, abortion, immigration, gun control, gay rights, climate change, the space program, and teaching science in public schools.”
Whew. I’ve attended Tea Party meetings and I’ve met people who consider themselves Tea Party members. I can tell you from experience that Thomas’ views are not connected to reality. The name Tea Party is derived from the acronym TEA which means Taxed Enough Already. The group is almost totally focused on economic issues, including the financial and structural impact of illegal immigration. The key word here is “illegal.”
There is more. Thomas writes, “95% of the world’s climate scientists say climate change is the most serious crisis ever! Climate change has been proven to within 5% certainty of gravity.Would you argue against gravity?”
My response to this assertion is that you, my reader, in all likelihood, have already decided on the truth of climate change. The Gallup polling organization routinely asks people to rank current issues based on importance and urgency. Climate change is repeatedly the very last item on the list.
We are moving to the climax. “Because Republicans have cut funds for teaching science in public schools for 30 years, only about half of Americans now believe in evolution or the 14.7 billion year age of the universe, in spite of the 99.9% scientific certainty of both.”
The reality is that total expenditures, excluding capital expenses, for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States amounted to $632 billion in the 2010-2011 school year, or $12,608 per public school student. School budgets are passed by Republicans and Democrats across the country. And those budgets go up year after year.
Here is Thomas’ closing paragraph: “Climate change is already causing trillions of dollars damage, from sea level rise, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, and crop failures. To do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions is to condemn 30%-40% of Americans to starve in 20-30 years.”
When you decide who you will vote for in the election this Fall, remember both Sarah and Thomas. That may help you make an informed decision.
Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Virginia Republican Committee.