Dear Editor: If not for government intervention, we would have roughly 150,000 traffic deaths a year. The government demanded safer roads and safer cars, and in 2018 we had 36,750 traffic deaths, saving over 100,000 lives a year. If not for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s, tens of thousands more would die each year from air and waterborne illnesses.

So the idea that the government is the root of all evil, that our modern Republicans claim, is not only a lie, but also a relatively new idea. In recent years Republican politicians have feigned ignorance whenever it serves their purpose. When asked about climate change, they say, “I’m not a scientist,” yet they ignore what the scientists are telling them.

Republicans use some variation of this willful ignorance game whenever a problem they don’t want to deal with comes up: whether it be gun control, income inequality or the opioid crisis. These problems kill tens of thousands of people every year.

It is a lie for Republicans to claim they can’t do anything about a problem, or if they do something it will make matters worse, or that all regulations are a terrible infringement on our liberty, Not only is it a lie, it can no longer be called willful ignorance. With thousands of dying every year from gun violence, climate change and opioids, we should now consider the Republican leadership’s failure to act on these problems an act of depraved indifference.

John Hallinan


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