Republicans remain the party of ‘Just say no,’ and little else

The GOP truly is the party of Reagan – Nancy Reagan, that is. Its entire agenda consists of the former first lady’s anti-drug mantra: “Just Say No.”

No to any policies that address the very real problems in 21st Century America. Our government used to have statesmen on both sides of the aisle who worked together to enact laws to improve the lives of all.


But today, no matter the issue – healthcare, environment, immigration, guns, taxes, bank regulation, Social Security, Medicare, anything and everything – Republicans, led by their self-absorbed and principle-free president, refuse to enact (or even discuss) sensible, necessary new legislation. Even worse, they actively seek to destroy the laws and regulations that have made our progress and prosperity to date possible.

Unable to competently craft laws and regulations to deal with today's challenges, President Trump's sole agenda seems to be to dismantle all things Obama, such as the Affordable Care Act, Paris accords, fuel standards, Keystone pipeline, Wall Street reform, consumer protections, national monument designations, net neutrality, Cuban travel, bans on offshore drilling, dumping of mining waste in streams and a global abortion gag rule, to name only a fraction. He also wants to weaken pillars of public policies that for decades have made our country safe and respected (strong alliances with friends, arm's-length dealing with adversaries) and provided protection for those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder (Social Security, Medicare, progressive taxation).

Anyone can spout platitudes, offer no solutions (actual legislation) and say no to the solutions proposed by others. But grappling with real problems – assessing their scope, causes, and cures – and crafting laws and public policies that can ameliorate or solve them, take intelligence, judgment and hard work. The description of the easiest job in America today is that of a Republican senator or congressman: Sit on the sidelines and … just say no.

James R. Percival

Newport Coast

Thank you to St. Paul’s for opening us up to a meal

How do we get to know each other? How do we get to know someone different from us? We share a meal.

How do we get to know the peoples of a different culture than our own? We share a meal.

How do we discover that we have more sameness than differences? We share a meal and get to know each other.

I offer special praise to St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine, for opening its doors and sharing its culture, faith and tables over the weekend of June 23-25.

How do we share ourselves? We invite someone different from us to dinner.

Iva Zander Botton

Huntington Beach

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