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Guest opinion by Larry Hodgden today. Larry wrote this for Independence Day.
Larry is a retired Viet Nam era veteran of the USAF. He and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, have three children and seven grandchildren who keep him very busy. Family, education, church and politics have been a lifelong passion.
As we celebrate another 4th of July, the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, we should remember that one out of every five colonists was opposed to the war and in fact 30,000 of them fought against the Revolutionary Army. You could say those dissenters had to be “dragged, kicking and screaming” to freedom from tyranny.
In fact our history is one of resistance to change and progress. It took a bloody Civil War to convince the south and some northern sympathizers that slavery was wrong. It took fifty years for women, led by Susan B. Anthony, to finally get the right to vote. It took thousands of deaths and riots before workers won the rights to humane working conditions, fair wages and to organize.
More recently it took the National Guard to enforce equal education for all in Mississippi and many lives were lost marching and fighting for the right to vote and for equal rights for all people throughout the south in the 1960s.
It should come as no surprise to us then that we still have a segment of our public which has dug in their heels against social progress. Nearly every advancement in the last 100 years has been opposed by the Republican Party and now, under Romney/Ryan, they would end Medicare, privatize Social Security and repeal any improvements made in health care and equal rights for women and minorities.
At every sign of progress and in spite of overwhelming support by the general public, the Republicans stand in the way while we wait for some positive ideas from them which would move this country forward. How can they justify the harm their plans would do to seniors, children, students, minorities and the disabled? Maybe more importantly, how can you justify your support for these plans?
I encourage you, your family, and your friends to support the democratic ideals as outlined by the Democratic Party. I urge you to fight for the rights of every American as clearly established in our Constitution and as most of us understand to be our responsibility to care for our fellow humans. Together we can and will prevail, however difficult, because sooner rather than later, the Republican Party must be “Dragged, Kicking and Screaming” into the 21st Century.