Letters: The truth about Jan. 6 is unfriendly to most Republicans

·13 min read

The truth about Jan. 6 is unfriendly to most Republicans

Is telling the truth the one unforgivable sin among today’s Republican Party? Subverting the rule of law, loyalists to the ex-president deeply organized before the bloody coup attempt at the US Capitol. Immediately afterward, 147 members of Congress voted "no" to certifying President Joe Biden's decisive victory. Fake, substitute electors were organized in seven crucial states.

The GOP cancel culture now squashes any dissent within the party, harassing or censuring or running primary candidates against anyone who dares say that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Neither our governor nor Iowa’s Republicans in Washington have publicly risked admitting that truth as the House Select Committee on January 6th provides conservative after conservative testifying, revealing how the Trump cabal’s tentacles reached into every corner of the country and level of government in a huge effort to undermine, if not dismantle, our Constitution. Overturning a free and fair election is essentially the same as overthrowing the government.

That the ex-president and others implicated in the insurrection aren’t demanding to tell their side of the story, under oath, is all America needs to know.

— Tim Facto, Des Moines

More: Rekha Basu: How a lie can start a path to authoritarian takeover of government, and nearly did in the US

Republicans won't keep us safe

It is difficult to write up-to-date letters about mass shootings. As I write, a family of three and their shooter are dead in Maquoketa Caves State Park.

It is also difficult to watch Iowa GOP legislators in Washington vote “no” repeatedly on the most modest gun reforms. Here are recent bills they have rejected:

June 8: Protecting Our Kids Act — it would, among other things, raise the legal age to buy certain military-grade weapons from 18 to 21. All Iowa GOP House members voted “no.” Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said the bill took away "God-given rights."

June 23: Active Shooter Amber Alert Act — this would create an Amber Alert-style system for active shooter incidents. Iowa’s GOP House contingent voted "no" even on this.

June 24: Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — although modest, it would be the first major overhaul of gun regulations since the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, allowed to expire in 2004. Sen. Chuck Grassley voted “no” because of concerns about constitutional rights.

It is obvious to the 80% to 90% of Americans who at least support universal background checks that the worn-out shield of God-given rights and constitutional guarantees has become a fig leaf. Meanwhile, Iowa has seen two multiple-casualty shootings in as many months.

How many innocent lives must be sacrificed on the altar of the Second Amendment? Are 10 in Buffalo, 21 in Uvalde, seven in Highland Park not enough? Or the additional 353 mass shootings in this nation through the first three weeks of July?

Please see my opening sentence and remember this in November.

— Karen Heidman, Sioux City

Renew home visit program

In response to Dr. Amy Shriver’s recent opinion piece about the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program also known as MIECHV, I also encourage funding home visiting programs.

When I was a young child, I was part of a home visiting program to assist in building my speech. Without the tools that were provided, I likely would have had to do speech therapy. With my visitors’ support, I was able to overcome my language delay and catch up with my peers.

As a Head Start teacher, I’ve found that home visits are an invaluable resource for families to set children up for success. As Shriver stated, home visiting allows professionals like me to connect with families, to identify their struggles and provide resources to help them thrive.

MIECHV’s funding expires Sept. 30, and Congress must renew its funding before then. As a Save the Children Action Network advocate, I call Iowa’s members of Congress to reauthorize MIECHV’s funding, and to increase it as well. With more funding there can be more outreach, and with that healthier, stronger, better supported families.

— Kayla Perkins, Kingsley

Reynolds puts Iowans' interests first

I have a combined 38 years of living in Iowa. I love Iowa. I also support Gov. Kim Reynolds. I appreciate her stances, and I believe I would make the same choices that she does. I appreciate that she is a straight speaker, not misleading the people. I appreciate that she has Iowans from all walks of life in mind as she makes decisions.

I love that Reynolds is not sold out to special interests, who do not have our best interests at heart.

— Sheila Young, Urbandale

Ashley Hinson represents Iowa values

Politicians nowadays love to say that they are "for the people." However, how often do we see these politicians actually stand up for what we the people value? In fact, it often seems as if politicians like Liz Mathis have become so disconnected from us that we simply become props for them to push their own selfish agenda.

Where is Liz Mathis on skyrocketing food and gas prices? She talks a lot about issues that don't seem to matter to anyone but her liberal donors; I've yet to hear what steps she would take to lower the burden of Democrats' inflation-causing policies on hardworking Iowans. We need someone who doesn’t just say they care about us Iowans, but acts on it.

Fortunately, we already have that in Rep. Ashley Hinson, who is working hard to fight for our Iowan values. She knows what we want because she has been all over the district and visits all of the counties to meet with Iowans every quarter. When Hinson came to Poweshiek County, she wasn’t there to preach or tell us what to think; she was there to hear our voices and feedback. She wants what’s best for the people she represents, us.

— Timothy Enyart, Grinnell

Don't let Republicans control Congress

Re-electing Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks to Congress could result in Republicans gaining control of the House of Representatives. One of the first things they would do is to disband the Jan. 6 committee, which has uncovered the facts behind the insurrection that Donald Trump and his cronies orchestrated.

This would be followed by much more mischief to the detriment of our country since the Republicans in charge are extremists (not your grandfather’s Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower). Miller-Meeks has shown she dutifully carries out the orders of these people so we should expect the worst. We can help prevent this by electing her opponent, Christina Bohannon, an exceptionally qualified candidate who listens to facts and more closely represents the best interests of Iowans.

— Keith Schulz, Burlington

Get rid of campaign fundraising

The news media has been full of it, saying that all it takes is money to win. This coverage leads us to believe it, if we didn’t believe it already. Donate millions of dollars and I can be your governor, representative, or whatever is up for grabs. Don’t have enough money in the kitty, don’t cry, give it another shot next time around. We will never know the best candidate because we can’t get past the money.

The better solution is for the state and federal governments to do handouts. Yup, handouts to start the process. The state treasury is overflowing with “betting money” taxation so what better to use if for than getting the best candidate elected. Each candidate gets the same stipend for election purposes. Spend it wisely because that’s all you get. Debates would become quite popular since they take money out of the running formula.

Try telling the candidates this story and they’ll tell you it’s just wishful thinking. We (the candidates) prefer to go the old-fashioned way.

— John Carver, Decorah

Feenstra votes to deny rights

Once upon a time, the play "Romeo and Juliet" was assigned to every student to read. Even as young as we were, all of the students in my class recognized how dumb it was for the Montagues and the Capulets to prevent these youngsters from being able to be together. If they loved one another, there was no logical reason to prevent them from joining together, getting married, and following through with their “Happily Ever After.”

After a time, I thought the United States was making pretty good progress in that Supreme Court rulings guaranteed we could all have our chance at “Happily Ever After.” Loving v. Virginia granted equal rights to marry regardless of race, and Obergefell v. Hodges granted the equal right to marry regardless of the genders of the couple involved. The Supreme Court didn't guarantee you would find your Happily Ever After, but it did ensure that the state or local governments couldn't prevent it based on race or gender.

However, in light of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and views expressed by current justices, the U.S. House thought it best to enshrine the right to marry into law. While it passed the House, the congressman of Iowa's 4th District voted against it.

We need representation that honors and respects the rights of all of our citizens to love who we love and marry whom we'd choose. It's time to vote Randy Feenstra out.

— Candella Foley-Finchem, Glenwood

Early nutrition is vital

Rekha Basu's July 21 column, "Where does shame belong when kids go hungry?" included the importance of iron and other nutrients from birth to age 3 for essential brain development. Since 2018, one Polk County organization, Nutrition 4 Young Children, has been focusing on good nutrition for moms (during their pregnancy) and young families, because a person’s lifelong health — including predisposition to obesity and certain chronic diseases — is largely determined during the first 1,000 days (pre-brith through age 2).

That’s the time when the brain develops most rapidly and robustly, when the immune system is bolstered, when the foundation of physical growth is laid. Nutrition 4 Young Children, in partnership with ISU Extension-Polk County, hosts (via Zoom) educational Healthy Baby Showers for English- and Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers, and gifts them a baby backpack filled with newborn essentials and resource information ($100 value) following their participation. It produces and distributes a twice-a-month e-newsletter that connects past Healthy Baby Shower participants with resources on child development, nutrition, free informational programs and timely local events for families with resource limitations.

Educating and connecting with families to maximize the health and well-being of children is a cause everyone must support.

— Pam Schoffner, Polk City

Church members support LGBTQ students

We felt it was imperative to respond to Chris Higgins' story “Community activists disturbed by Southeast Polk school board member’s online activity, says it is anti-LGBTQ” in support of God’s LGBTQ children. We also support One Iowa’s effort in soliciting school boards to protect LGBTQ students.

We believe every school board member should express an educated view in line with educated experts that LGBTQ individuals should have equal rights, and not allow personal bias, ignorance, or personal religion to deny the right of LGBTQ students to be who they are. Based on the story, it is clear the school board member’s social media posts were not supportive of LGBTQ individuals.

We are a welcoming and affirming congregation because God is love. We believe a person in Christ receives a new spirit, a new heart and mind in harmony with God. Thus, a person in Christ lives by the Spirit of Christ, producing the fruit of the Spirit, living in the way and truth in Christ. We encourage those opposed to LGBTQ individuals to hear their story and afterwards, support and love them for who they are, a child of God.

— Wendy Vasquez, Lora Fraracci and Jon Coon, members of Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines

Small steps for the Raccoon

We own a farm in Dallas County. The Raccoon River runs through our farm. We have a black Lab named Eddie. Of course, I can’t keep Eddie out of the river. This is the first year that Eddie has not gotten infections and rashes from the Raccoon River.

We want to thank those CAFO operators who manage their manure properly and those rural homeowners who do not discharge their septic systems through their tiles into the Raccoon River. One day I hope my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can swim in the Raccoon River as my wife, children and I once did.

— Mike Delaney, Windsor Heights

Stop eating animals and save the planet

Record heat waves in America and Europe endanger millions, as wildfires rage, in a brutal manifestation of man-induced global warming.

Each of us can reduce our personal contribution by cutting back on consumption of animal foods, which account for a whopping portion of “greenhouse gases.” Carbon dioxide is released by burning forests to create animal pastures. Methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cows and sheep and from animal waste pits.

In an environmentally sustainable world, vegetables, fruits, and grains must replace animal food products in our diet, just as wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources replace fossil fuels. The next trip to our favorite supermarket provides a great opportunity to explore the delicious, healthful, eco-friendly plant-based meat and ice cream products in the frozen food section.

— Derek Meitzer, Des Moines

Voting isn't to only way to have influence

Reach out to your representative, whether or not you voted for them.

I think as a society we have come to the conclusion that the absolute only way to be heard by your government is to pick someone who you slightly agree with politically and then vote for them. They might win or they might lose, but you hope they win and you hope they do what they said they would. Either way, you wait till the next election and use your one and only chance to be heard for the time being and vote and you just hope someone hears you.

That is not how it has to be, nor how it should be. Now, voting is essential and I think everyone should vote for who they want in office. However, don’t stop there. If there is something you want your representatives to do or support, tell them. Call them, email them, visit their office. Putting pressure on them can be surprisingly effective, especially if a lot of people are doing it. I reach out to my representatives every week to encourage them to support things like the Girls LEAD Act, the MINDS Act, and the international affairs budget because these are things I care about. I encourage you to do the same.

Your time to be heard does not end when you cast your vote, that's when it begins.

— Rachel Gantt, Urbandale

Norwood would take cleaner water seriously

More than 10 state park beaches have closed this summer because of bacteria such as E coli. found in the water. Recently, Des Moines began to use its nitrate-removal system for the city water supply. The Iowa Capital Dispatch writes that the system can cost upward of $10,000 daily to remove the nitrates. We need to work to improve our state’s water quality in our parks and in our pipes. Doing so will safeguard our health and our pocketbooks.

That is why I am supporting John Norwood for Iowa secretary of agriculture. As a soil and water commissioner of Polk County, he has proven that he has what it takes to lead statewide programs to improve water quality. He has plans to make sure that nitrates from runoff don’t enter the drinking water in the first place, saving our health and money. On Nov. 8 I will be voting for John Norwood.

— Aidan Yoder, Kalona

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Letters: The truth about Jan. 6 is unfriendly to most Republicans