Letters to the Editor

Democrats need a new appeal to fight an authoritarian regime

While Tom Fulks couched his Voices column (“Trump didn’t ‘get’ the Women’s March. Neither did some old-guard Democrats,” Jan. 29) in terms of the rising anti-Trump/Bannon insurgency — with a sharp critique of “old-guard Democrats” and a pump-up for the Bernie Sanders faction as the party’s redemption, he neglected a daunting reality. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party, outside of university municipalities and large urban zones, holds little mass appeal. This is especially true in cities, towns and rural areas between the coasts. And this certainly applies in San Luis Obispo County. If not outright hostility, there is often a cultural distrust of progressives that originates from a perceived lack of respect.

Adding decades of “liberal-lashing” on conservative radio, far-right websites (the “inciting porn” of Infowars, Breitbart, Daily Caller, etc.) and Fox News, plus the spike of wild and violent (nonetheless popular) conspiracy theories in “fake news” postings, progressives face steep challenges in formulating a positive appeal and assembling a new coalition to replace the authoritarian Trump/Bannon regime. In other words, we need more than lawsuits and legal briefs to reverse extremist trends.

In our abruptly mounting governmental and constitutional crisis, there must be no substitute for Democrats personally reaching beyond their familiar constituencies. Preceded by humility, reflection, compassion and respect, the saving of our country from its reckless course begins now — one person, one family at a time.

Gordon Fuglie, Atascadero

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