Dear Editor:

I enjoyed reading the recent letter from Mr. Woolsey. It seems we have more in common than I imagined. I am also upset by the anti-vax movement, but more by the lives lost, the families in turmoil, and the trauma we are all facing. We both value thinking and see the anti-vax hysteria as destructive and illogical, but I think it is understandable when you think of the unthinking loyalty to Trump and where the loyalists get (dis)information. I heard many Trump followers comment that Trump says what they think, but actually he was saying what they feel. When feelings of hate and fear take over, thinking flees. If they were well informed and thinking they would know Trump has no concern for their welfare and has used campaigning and time in the White House as money raising opportunities. He did not "drain the swamp" but deepened it and added more fearful creatures.
For the right-wing hardliners who lead these people, they do think, but instead of thinking of the welfare of the people they think of there own financial and political futures. For their financial future they can count on raising funds through engendering fear in their followers. Politically they see an advantage in being seen as following Trump. They do have some fear - fear of losing a primary election to a Trump-endorsed opponent.
Mr. Woolsey and I do disagree on social issues. My guideline is not a collection of stories from the Bronze Age and Iron Age. I think we need to honor and respect people for who they are and how they treat others. I wonder how to interpret "...absolute sanctity of innocent life." I know he is referring to the abortion issue, but how does he define "innocent." How far does life extend. Are sperm and eggs part of "life." Are they innocent? Is the pregnant person's life worth less than the fetus? As an ultra-conservative I would think Mr. Woolsey would object to the government intruding on the very personal and life altering choices of the pregnant person. Does Mr. Woolsey think the government should force all people to follow the religious dictates of only one particular religion's dictates? A theocracy is something our Founding Fathers worked hard to avoid.
I think we are in a very precarious time in our country. There are too many people who feel the only way to save their country is by violently destroying our democracy*. The rest of us need to take political action to give people faith that democracy can be used for the welfare of the people.
*technically we do not have a democracy. We had a Democratic Constitutional Republic that has been corrupted into a plutocracy.
James Vokac
Willow Springs, MO
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