Reactions to Republicans Posting Guards at the Polls

It seems that the Republican Party of Orange County has its own version of Kristallnacht , which they might call Verbotennacht (forbidden night). Right-wing paranoia, it seems, has succeeded in gaining ascendancy in the party. I grieve for those of moderate persuasion.

How embarrassing and dilemmatic it must be to have Chairman Thomas A. Fuentes, whose name in Spanish means fountain or spring of water, accept responsibility for frightening away those voters who share his cultural roots. This "fountain," it seems, has turned itself into a flash flood.

To station uniformed "guards" outside polling places in Santa Ana in order to prevent an imagined busing of illegal voters ranks right up there with the best thinking of the Third Reich. How sad it is that minority voters should have the impression that we live in a police state. And Republicans wonder why they lack appeal among the minorities?

Until the party has refashioned itself to understand moderation and civil rights more fully, it will remain the party of the middle and upper classes, the party of the conservative, white business person. For now, however, as those higher on the power ladder seek to find a way around their loyalty to Fuentes and their need to show a sense of decency to the public, we should call voting in the 72nd District La Noche de Verguenza (The Night of Shame).


San Juan Capistrano

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