Opinion

Columnist’s attack on Republicans was uncalled-for

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The recent opinion piece by New York Times columnist Timothy Egan, (“The founders would gag at today’s GOP,” TNT, 7/7), was a slanderous insult to thousands of Pierce County voters, and it is time we exercised our civil right to stand against hatred and bigotry based on our political affiliation and beliefs.

We Republicans not only helped elect President Trump, but also our county executive, a majority of the Pierce County Council and a dozen state legislators representing districts throughout our county.

Egan states, “I’m terrified of the Republicans,” calling us “explicitly anti-American.” With no sound evidence, he claims Republicans oppose both freedom of speech and freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Allow me to set the record straight: Freedom of speech isn’t just for the New York Times. It includes the right of citizens to criticize the media’s obvious and endless hostility toward our president, whom Egan referenced as “the despot” in the White House.

As for freedom of religion, Republicans welcomed the Supreme Court’s recent decision that my home state, Maryland, was not required to remove a World War I memorial in the shape of a cross. What a breath of fresh air when Justice Alito said: “A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strikes many as aggressively hostile to religion.”

I will at least acknowledge Egan for not hiding his contempt for our elected president. He extended his contemptuous name-calling to anyone who supports Trump, dismissing them as “pink-faced mobs calling for a wall at Trump rallies.”

I’m one of a growing number of Republicans who are far from ‘pink-faced” and who and recognize the need to apply existing law to stem illegal immigration.

Egan wraps up his hate-filled piece with bizarre criticism of the president’s Fourth of July celebration. He misses the point, ignoring many reasons given to be proud of America, and he offered an oddly rewritten version of our nation’s first century, claiming “Trump rolls out weapons of war to celebrate the birth of a nation that never even had much of a standing army until the 20th century...”

Ever heard of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and Civil War? They were in all the newspapers.

There is a powerful irony in a journalist cramming so much divisive venom into an essay alleging the president and his party are hateful and divisive. Those who listened to his Independence Day speech heard a stirring message of pride in America and respect for all its people.

The News Tribune’s editorial page has been a forum for thoughtful comment from differing viewpoints. I don’t expect to agree with every contributor, but you erred in providing a platform for nasty and inaccurate characterization of Republican readers who, like me, care deeply about our faith, flag and family.

Thanks for granting an opportunity to set the record straight.

Paula Wallace Lonergan is vice chair of the Pierce County Republican Party and a disabled Vietnam-Era veteran.

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