Opinion: Resist the hate propaganda of the extreme right

version of reality. The Republican column last week was beyond absurd. Barbara Miller, a Republican Central Committee member, made accusations that Democrats are colluding with communists to enslave Americans. Actual slavery, she claimed, had nothing to do with race. Ms. Miller claims that the enslavement of Black people never happened, yet Democrats are enslaving everybody. It’s a blatant revision of history. She is not alone. The majority of Bonneville Republicans are spreading lies against anyone who doesn’t toe the line of the Idaho Freedom Foundation. We must keep a grip on reality and not buy into their propaganda.

Extremist Republicans are labeling Democrats and moderate Republicans as bogeymen. They are painting half of all Idahoans as lefties, socialists, communists, America haters, violent activists, anti-freedom and police haters. They vilify moderate Republicans as closet Democrats and RINOs. It’s a hate campaign against their neighbors. It’s terribly wrong.

Democrats are patriotic Americans. Moderate Republicans are true conservatives. All Idahoans have differing political views, but that is how our system has been functioning for more than 200 years. We have always criticized and sometimes disparaged each other, but the current Republicans Party has gone off the deep end. They are demonizing anyone who doesn’t buy into their made-up version of reality.

The far-right is not the majority, yet they are currently in control of the rest of us. They aren’t the party of freedom. They are the party of control. No nuance. No wiggle room.

How many times do they have to tell you that you can’t govern yourself?

How many of your freedoms are you going to allow them to take away?

They’ve stolen your right to a citizen initiative. They are passing laws making it harder to vote. They are running a candidate for governor who condones anarchy and consorts with conspiracy theorists and militia groups. They are spending your tax dollars to manufacture evidence of an “indoctrination” of critical race theory the vast majority of us hadn’t even heard of until they pounced on it as part of a fear campaign. Many supported the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection and are now attempting to whitewash it. What about those officers in blue who were severely injured, killed or driven to suicide? What about the death threats made against our representatives? What about the parading symbols of Nazism in our nation’s capital? This isn’t fake news, just watch the footage.

This isn’t America. It is scary.

I’m a Democrat, but I am not your enemy. I’m your neighbor. Let’s get back to the robust and healthy adversarial relationship the two parties are intended to have. Let’s not allow the extreme right to take our freedoms away by barraging us with fear tactics and lies. Let’s take our freedoms back from extremist legislators who want to turn us into pawns.

We must stand up for our freedom before it is gone.

Jackie Stephens is the Precinct 21 captain for the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee.