Dear Editor: I refer to the July 5 column in which Paul Fanlund speaks ill of the "far left" for fear that they will offend centrists and independents.

That malarkey both infuriates and saddens me. What Fanlund describes as "far left" is no further left that what saved this country from both communism and fascism and saved democracy itself: the policies and programs of FDR.

Take a look at FDR's "Second Bill of Rights" and you will see Medicare for all and free college education, and you can discern many other "far left" positions. I point out, however, that these positions are not "far left," but are supported by about 70% of the population, including those who proclaim themselves to be "conservative" or "Republican," so long as the questioner is perceived as nonpartisan.

Fanlund and others have fallen prey to the bad faith and lies of the GOP and its Libertarian fellow travelers: lies promoted via the focus-group-tested Frank Luntz "talking points."

This country has overcome the robber barons, the Wall Street grifters, the violent repression of labor organizing, etc. before. Some would say that most of the situation at least as bad today as it was in the late 1920s. The horrible state of affairs back then was not overcome by cowering before the "superior armaments" of the powerful back then, and people like Fanlund cowering before those in power will not turn the tide today.

What is needed is to have all media — from smaller outlets like Cap Times all the way to the behemoths like New York Times and Los Angeles Times along with the three major broadcasters — to decide that telling the truth is far more important and crucial to the survival of our republican democracy than attracting ad revenue. I sure wish that that we really had a "left wing media" that Luntz so successfully sold to middle America!

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We are very near becoming a totally fascist state today. Each of needs to stand up for what corrections are required and do the work to sell our issues, while also pointedly exposing the lies coming from the right. We can ill afford to be the cowards that Fanlund advises us to be.

Richard Hildreth

Cottage Grove

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