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Argue, don’t shoot

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Steve Posner

Recently, a conservative columnist told me “a well-written liberal column will please the liberals and upset the conservatives. The opposite will hold true for the conservative column.”
Ain’t gridlock grand?
Meanwhile, our democracy is in peril, and I will not, cannot, stay silent. I write to urge common sense based on fact. It will upset some of you. Get over it. That’s democracy.
When we argue, we’re not shooting. With luck, we are finding common ground, aligning interests and trading horses — our democracy muddles on. History has shown us the alternative, and it’s ugly. So let’s learn from history and not repeat it.
Let’s argue instead of screaming and, too often, shooting. Our readers will know the better arguments.
I’ve signed on with Evergreen Newspapers to stand against the people who slander “liberal” as a dirty word. Folks who smile while twisting “conservatism” to imply a violent, racist, nativist and deeply selfish neo-facism. Worshippers of Trump.
Let’s argue.
Let’s argue about a president who lies like he breathes.
Let’s argue about a president who calls the press the enemy of the people while his crony cabinet members plead guilty to crimes (Flynn) or resign in disgrace (Pruitt).
Let’s argue about Trump violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution that he swore to uphold.
Let’s argue about Trump gutting the State Department, attacking the Justice Department, sweeping away environmental and consumer protections, devaluing science and defunding public education.
Let’s argue about the evangelical Right claiming sole right to religion. Hey, I can pray too: Dear God — save our children from Betsy DeVos, And Lordy, I hope there are tapes.
Let’s argue about our planet getting toasty and Republicans denying that people are causing it.
Let’s argue about how idiotic Trump’s wall is, and how cruel and inhumane family separation is, and how the DACA kids are innocent human beings, not bargaining chips.
Let’s argue about Brett Kavanaugh, nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court so that Trump can rest assured, finally, that he is above the law.
Let’s argue about the rule of law, and the separation of powers, and whether we should scrap them both and just declare Trump king. If he doesn’t do it for himself first.
Let’s argue about the Kochs and Mellons and Scaifes who by funding institutes and media platforms and candidates and judges are turning America into a nation of the oligarchs, by the oligarchs and for the oligarchs.
Speaking of oligarchs, let’s talk about the Russians conspiring with Trump’s campaign, and how Trump slavishly executes Putin’s wish list despite the public advice of America’s intelligence community, and attacks the alliances built by America over 70 years, and retaliates against career public servants who feel compelled to criticize his conduct in office.
Let’s talk about the madness of Trump’s trade wars.
Let’s talk about the saneness of net neutrality.
Let’s talk about some NRA blockhead threatening a kid, “My rights are worth more than your life.” Now that’s responsible gun ownership.
Let’s talk about hypocrites who want to jail teenage girls needing abortions, but protect priestly child molesters. Who want to be tough on crime — except as to white collar grifters.
Let’s talk about the racism of leaving Puerto Rico without power for so long.
Let’s talk about how “conservatism” used to stand for respecting our social framework, not for hate, chaos, guns for all, and ever more frequent mass murder.
Let’s talk about so-called conservative principles, blithely abandoned by Republicans who now serve Trump.
Let’s talk about how Republicans would hold less power and do less harm if they didn’t gerrymander and suppress voters.
Let’s argue credibility. The time for bull is past. We can’t afford it. There are reliable news and info sources that have built fine reputations over decades and whose business models depend on accuracy. The New York Times and Washington Post aren’t fake news. The Russia probe is not a hoax. Trump’s rabid tweets cannot change that. Facts matter. Let’s make real points. Primal screams just waste time.
Let’s argue.

Steve Posner is a retired attorney and MBA who devoted more than 20 years to litigation and appeals, with a special interest in intellectual property and business cases. Since 2006, he has written and updated the LexisNexis legal treatise, “Modern Privacy and Surveillance Law,” deeply grounding him in our constitutional tradition. In his earlier days, he worked as a freelance journalist, vice president at a Madison Avenue ad agency, database interface designer, and studio guitarist. He is a member of the Steering Group of the Colorado Foothills Action Alliance, an activist group in the foothills. He can be reached via e-mail at scp@posnerlaw.com.