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Norwalk Letter: R.I.P. GOP, The Racist Party

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk.DailyVoice.com accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be e-mailed to letters@dailyvoice.com.

To the Editor,

On the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Washington Street, a lone stone Union soldier stands vigil over our city. In the bloodiest war of our history, men and boys from Connecticut fought not just to preserve the Union, but to get rid of that dreadful scourge of slavery and thus restore the truth to Jefferson's words that all men are created equal. In fact, trying to maintain slavery was why the South seceded from the Union in the first place and opened fire at Fort Sumter.

It took another long painful century for the children of the ex-slaves to achieve the same civil rights that the rest of us enjoy, although discrimination continues to slow their progress to true equality. And even before they won those rights with incredible nonviolent perseverance and courage, the reaction down South had begun. The Dixiecrat party split away from Democrats in 1948, and after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the same shameful forces of racial prejudice crossed over to the Republican Party. And now they run it!

A few days ago, the former chair of the Republican Party in Florida accused the "whack-a-do, right-wing crazies" in his party of trying to suppress the black vote. And the former Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Christ, agrees , writing "cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-American desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible."

There is enough irony here to fill the Grand Canyon. That young soldier probably voted for the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who believed in government of the people, by the people and for the people. What would he think if he saw a Republican Party whose stronghold of voting power comprises the former Confederate States and which mouths the same old hierarchical values? A party that tries to cheat people, especially black people, out of their votes? That demeans women?

What would he think if he knew that this now rabid Republican Party — a party that even Richard Nixon would not recognize — is manipulated and driven by cynical rapacious billionaires such as gambling czar [Sheldon] Adelson and the Koch brothers? Where, he would wonder, is the respect for the hallowed dead who had fought alongside him against that despicable ideology? Did they die in vain, after all?

How is it possible, he would shake his head, that Northern Republicans, including those right here in Norwalk, do not bolt from this pitiful travesty of what used to be the Grand Old Party? Are today's local Republicans really going to allow government of the people, by the people and for the people perish from this earth? Are they going to kowtow to the "whack-a-do, right-wing crazies" as Mitt Romney has done?

I spent two years of high school in the Deep South during Jim Crow. I watched the daily humiliation of African-Americans. I heard the racist talk of my white classmates. I know their values and they are not mine. I sincerely trust that my Republican neighbors don't share those values either. And that is why, along with that mute Union soldier whose comrades fought and died to set men free, I am dumbfounded that anyone would want to be associated with the mean-spirited, sexist extremists who have taken over and fatally poisoned the Republican Party. It really deserved better.

Scott Kimmish,

Democratic Town Committee member

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