Out with the Grand Old Party and in with a real Conservative Party
The Ohio Republican party majority's malicious engineering of gerrymandered United States House of Representatives districts is nothing less than the persistence of a racist Jim Crow policy, in flagrant violation of both the Ohio and the federal constitutions.
White supremacy, misogyny, active voter suppression, and violence have become the four pillars of the Ohio Republican Party temple. For shame.
Is it time for the national Republican Party to go the way of the Whig Party in 1854, and make space for the establishment of a genuine and constitutional Conservative Party? One can only pray to God. I would subscribe.
David Geissler, Columbus
It's open season for vigilantism in wake of Rittenhouse verdict
The implications of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict are terrifying. Zeke and Jasper will now dress up to play solider in their cosplay camo outfits, load up their AR-15s, leave their mothers’ basements, and head to your neighborhood to provide “security” for your kids’ schools and playgrounds.
If you approach them and state forcefully that you want them to leave because the risk of accidentally firing one of those weapons could have terrible consequences for your children and the children of others, they can shoot you dead because they feel “threatened.” A jury will let them off because they were “just defending themselves.”
Vigilantism is as deadly as any virus. It thrives on ignorant losers who now have a “cause” to distract themselves from dealing with their own pathetic lives and it’s headed our way.
Anthony Polletta, Upper Arlington
Socioeconomic improvements, educational opportunities will reduce crime
In response to Carmen Sauer's Nov. 20 letter "Standards for hiring new police officers have dropped; media should investigate": We don't need to lock our doors to protect ourselves because Mayor Ginther "bashed" the police and unleashed a crime wave.
Police are largely an after-the-harm-has-been suffered response to crime. There is overwhelming evidence that there are more violent crimes, burglaries, and property crimes in low-income neighborhoods. Fairly or not, many residents of those neighborhoods hesitate to call the police, fearing that they or members of their family might become the victim because responding officers will mistake them for a perpetrator.
Police officers want to protect and serve. Those who violate that oath must be identified and punished so that every Columbus community can have the confidence to call police when they are in need or have information that the police could use to protect their community.
But improved police-community relations alone won't do much to reduce crime. We need to find ways to increase employment, help make childcare available to working parents, provide educational opportunities comparable to schools in higher income neighborhoods, replace substandard housing with adequate housing, insure that families have enough food to feed their children, and provide a safety net when a family is in crisis. Only then will we see a reduction in the crime rate.
Mark Abel, Columbus
DeWine put himself and GOP before voters by approving map
During his 2018 campaign for governor, DeWine told the Cincinnati Enquirer through a spokesman: "The rules are pretty clear – the voters said that the redistricting process should be done in a bipartisan way and when I am governor, there will be an expectation that the new district maps honor the voters' wishes."
Gov. DeWine lied to the voters when he signed the Senate Bill 258, which indicated he doesn't represent all Ohioans, just those of his party. This bill is nothing more than a gerrymandered four-year congressional map that favors Republicans.
The governor's feeble excuse for signing this bill, "It kept cities whole and has more competitive districts than the current congressional map," is laughable. Twelve of the 15 districts favor Republicans, so how does this make the districts more competitive? This unfair partisan map will have the opposite affect.
Gov. DeWine made NO expectation. Instead, he chose to put his party and his own self-interest over the will of Ohio voters because he was afraid of the backlash he would receive from his party and possibly, Donald Trump.
Danajane Pavlis, Toledo
More bad things than good synonymous with natural gas and oil industry
In his Nov. 22 column "Gas, oil crucial to rebuilding infrastructure," George Brown, the executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, urged readers to consider the natural gas and oil industry to be synonymous with infrastructure.
Greenhouse gases, climate change, overheated planet, drought, rising temperatures, wildfires, superstorms, melting icecaps and glaciers, water shortages, plant and animal extinctions, chronic lung conditions and fatalities, fracking and earthquakes, and an unacceptable legacy for our children, grandchildren, and future generations come to my mind before infrastructure. I understand why he would prefer us to think otherwise.
Patrick F. Garrity, Westerville, The Laudato Si’ Movement, which has the mission: “To inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and achieve climate and ecological justice.”
If Rittenhouse judgment condones his actions, we have failed
If we really think it is OK for a 17-year-old to march through the streets with an assault rifle, kill two people and severely injure a third, God help us. We have failed to help ourselves.
Penny Winkle, Columbus
GOP lawmakers are showing their transphobia
For big, strong men and women with all the guns they can carry, it seems like Republican legislators are almost pathetically afraid of transgender children. (Nov. 22 article, "Bill aims to ban meds, surgery for trans youth.")
Ric Cacchione, Westerville
We can all do our part to pitch in and Keep Columbus Beautiful
In response to the Nov. 19 letter “Littering on the highway continues to be a problem in Columbus,” we agree. The pandemic brought an increase in littering from face masks to single use plastic containers, bags, takeout cartons, and, the most littered item, cigarette butts.
According to the 2020 Keep America Beautiful National Litter Study, over 50 percent of all litter is ending up in our waterways — the main source of our drinking water here in Central Ohio.
While highways, and on- and off-ramps are under the responsibility of the Ohio Department of Transportation, we can do a lot to clean up our streets, sidewalks, trails, and waterways.
Keep Columbus Beautiful, a program of the City of Columbus, has the tools to help communities be part of the solution to end litter and clean up communities. Volunteers across our city spend countless hours picking up litter and beautifying neighborhood, something we encourage all to participate in.
We can’t do it alone and need everyone to pitch in to keep Columbus beautiful. So organize or join a cleanup in your neighborhood today! Find more information at https://www.columbus.gov/publicservice/Keep-Columbus-Beautiful/
Aryeh Alex, Keep Columbus Beautiful Manager
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: Get rid of the GOP and form a real Conservative Party