Granger: Let’s find common ground

To the Editor:

I am still an American even though I may not wave the flag high or beat the drum loudly. Politically I am not a Democrat, Republican, Tea Partyer or a Progressive but a registered Independent. As an Independent I educate myself with real facts and thoughtfully choose to support causes that help to build a smarter, safer and stronger America. And I vote for any candidate running for political office who I believe will do the best job successfully representing me. Ideally a candidate free of party agendas, bias, canned flash points and manipulation by hidden donors.

Maybe responsible Americans — no matter what political affiliation, religious belief, ethnic background or lifestyle — have more common concerns than differences? Don’t most Americans worry about the same things? Effective, affordable and accessible health care; safe public schools where every child is taught to think and to reach their own potential; senior citizens receiving the individual care and support they really need; wise use of our tax dollars with funds not wasted or misspent; and the promise of “Liberty and Justice” for all Americans?

In America the political power pendulum swings back and forth between the two biggest political parties. The movers and the shakers behind those politics dictate terms to the American people. What would happen if America could remove the self-serving manipulators behind the political curtain and instead demand transparency, responsibility and integrity from all government agencies and elected officials? No blame game, no excuses, no justification for lying, cheating, stealing, no bias or hating other Americans.

Can we start work here to build a smarter, safer and stronger America? Could a group of local Americans with dissimilar political views and varied lifestyles have a discussion as equals, educating one another about our own different perspectives and beliefs? Could we share our concerns and together identify the issues affecting us all? Could we work together to find common ground and create positive solutions through polite dialogue and honest conversation, with mutual respect?

Would you be willing to be part of that diverse local discussion group? Any other readers out there interested?

Linda Granger

La Grande

Journet: Greenhouse gas cap would be good

To the Editor:

As the legislative session opens, corporate and outsider money and lies are flowing into Oregon, trying to fatten their own pockets by confusing our legislators — even as they destroy life as we know it on this planet.

Oregon has a chance to become a global leader in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously stimulating the economy and serving the economic needs of depressed communities across the state. Rural Oregon particularly will gain from this proposal.

But corporate interests who have profited substantially for years from pumping their pollutants into our air and water are fighting back with the usual sacks of money and campaigns of lies.

Because Clean Energy Jobs is modeled on programs in effect in other states, we know how it will likely affect us here. The lies notwithstanding, gas prices in Ontario and Quebec Canada, and California fell following the installation of a cap and trade program. It is a total myth (i.e. bald-faced lie) that fuel prices will inevitably rise. Similarly, since a greenhouse gas cap was enacted in nine Northeastern states, electricity bills have not risen; they have fallen.

While corporate exploiters and their political lap-dogs peddle lies, I support Clean Energy Jobs for Oregon.

Alan Journet

Jacksonville

Vigil: Republican strategy has turned into a moral trap

To the Editor:

Brand is critical. When we buy a washing machine, the brand tells us about quality, reliability and repair record. Sleazy Harry would like to market his cheap, unreliable, knock-off washing machines as Maytags, but fortunately patent and trademark laws prevent him from doing so.

So, now we have Republicans who will be running for elective office rightly wondering about their brand. Unfortunately for conservatives, there no longer exists a sane conservative, traditionalist Republican brand. There’s only Trump. From top to bottom, anyone running under the Republican banner should know they have identified themselves as Trumpists and carry that baggage. This means they are campaigning as White Supremacists, racists, misogynists, xenophobes, anti-science apologists and defenders of fake news, ignorance and incompetence. This is where they stand unless they loudly and clearly repudiate everything Trump.

As Paul Krugman recently wrote: “The cynical bargain that has been the basis of Republican strategy since Reagan has now turned into a moral trap. And as far as we can tell, no elected Republican — not one — has the strength of character to even attempt an escape.” Not a great candidate banner.

Republicans be warned. Your brand is no longer what you would like it to be.

Trisha Vigil

Medford

19622407