Feb 232006

I am writing this letter in response to Jake Blumberg's column "Why not a little tolerance?" When I open the Rocky Mountain Collegian's opinion page, often I am shocked by the extremist diatribes written by columnist such as Ryan Chapman or Tyler Wittman. When I read columns from students that refer to themselves as conservatives and they make appeals for the imprisonment of liberals, Christian theology in science classrooms, discrimination against homosexuals and striping women of their right to govern their own bodies, I ask myself: What the hell happened to the party of Abraham Lincoln?

Seriously, have these people been self-medicating with crazy pills. When did the Republican Party fill its ranks with religious fanatics and social extremists? Then I read Jake's column. Good old sensible Jake is always able to remind me that not all conservatives are racist, xenophobic, religious fanatics, and that extremist blowhards like Ryan and Tyler only represent a small but vocal extremist wing of the Republican Party.

As a person who supports liberal ideals, sensible columnists like Jake Blumberg are good and bad. On one hand a sensible and articulate conservative voice that resonates with traditional republican virtues, the ones that Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ike preached, is a formidable opposition to liberal social and economic reforms. I have personally grown to relish the extremist rhetoric that is defining the conservative movement these days.

Let's face it, the Ryan Chapmans and Tyler Wittmans of the world have done more to dismantle Republican control in Washington DC than the Democrats, the ACLU and Greenpeace combined. On the other hand, Jake Blumberg's column shows that there is hope within the rank and file of the Republican Party. Because for every Rush Limbaugh there are still those Republicans that respect civil liberties like Jake Blumberg.

James Carlson


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