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'If our elected leaders cannot uphold our founding values that have set our feet on the path of greatness, then we the people must unite to protect our very existence'

It is elementary that racists can't be equated with ethnicity. Racism is an ideology. Race involves origins and culture, language and skin pigmentation. Racism is denigrating people who are different.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Hal Ritz Our Constitution says all people are equal. This is counter to those who maintain that certain people are less than others. Fascists, white supremacists, and the Ku Klux Klan defy our founding principles, creating divisiveness.

The words and actions of our president serve Russia's purpose to divide our country. From his self-confessed misogamy during his campaign through policies of Muslim bans and ripping suckling babies from mothers, to traitorous speeches on the world platform, he has ripped up the fabric of a unified democratic country. That Trump is Putin's pawn is clear. Remember the adage of a divided house.

Now come we to leftists and the far right. Our Revolution culminated in 1776. The French Revolution started in 1789. The idea of left vs. right started during that time with the protesters for equality seated on the left and the monarchists on the right.

We have the same thing today, with the democratic protesters upholding equality now called "leftists" and the white supremacists spouting racism designated as right wing.

Right-leaning Donald Trump supporters try to tarnish democratic supporters by referring to them as socialists — a term with negative connotations following Karl Marx/Vladimir Lenin communism. All our progressive movements, however, have been socialist-driven to elevate the downtrodden and give voice to the disenfranchised. Consider women's voting rights, for instance.

Let me point out that any movement can go to extremes. Moderation, taking in all the history and current factors, should be the blueprint for action. That is what our Constitution, with strict government checks and balances, is meant to do.

We have a rogue president. His self-appointed power to speak privately with our sworn adversary and give away our democracy to totalitarian control must be removed. If our elected leaders cannot uphold our founding values that have set our feet on the path of greatness, then we the people must unite to protect our very existence.

We have the weapon to do this, and that is our vote. Your vote counts.

Hal Ritz

Scappoose

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