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The GOP brought together disgruntled southern segregationists, the Bible Belt religious right and big business interests. Conservatives turned a blind eye to the Jim Crow practices denying the vote to blacks. Reagan espoused ‘state-rights’ a euphemism for segregation which was the hue and cry of the separatist South. He condoned southern oppression against civil rights legislation.

The blueprint for Democracy (the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Civil Rights Act) is ignored by the GOP for convenience sake. Conservatives have allowed the religious right to attack the most intimate of women’s rights, ‘Roe v. Wade’. What right do men (the vast majority of our representatives today) have legislating about a woman’s control of her body?

A final insult, the inequity of cutting taxes for the rich and corporations under 'Reaganomics.' His conservatives assumed the loss in tax funding would be offset by increased production and consumption. Coupled with drastic cuts to entitlements, the budget would survive unharmed by the tax cuts and the deficit wouldn’t increase. Wrong! The GOP derides liberal spending but Reagan’s ‘trickle-down’ economics increased the deficit.

How can anyone support a party that condones discrimination, elitist protection policies and religious interference in government policy?

— Erin Houtchens, Stevensville

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