Guest Column 
Rep. Jim Walsh, your silence is deafening!

Dave Gauger

We’re a couple weeks from all-important mid-term elections in both local and national arenas. These upcoming elections are opportunities to sort wheat from the chaff. Typically this is the season when candidates are particularly prone to promote their party’s policy positions whether seeking state or national office. But this election cycle is different, at least here on the Twin Harbors home front.

Rep. Jim Walsh is seeking another term as our 19th Washington State House representative. Trumpster candidates (formerly known as Republicans) like Rep. Walsh are noticeably silent relative to their party’s national positions. In fact, Rep. Walsh’s silence is deafening, so deafening one wonders if in fact Rep. Walsh is running as an independent. He seldom explains and much less defends his Trumpster Party policies at the national level. This is particularly curious since Democrat Erin Frasier is posing a serious challenge to Rep. Walsh’s reelection. We do have options. That makes it all the more important for Rep. Walsh to speak out so we can compare his Trumpster Party positions with those progressive ideas for change that Erin Frasier represents.

Perhaps Rep. Walsh is simply shy and thus uncomfortable touting his Trumpster Party’s positions at the national level. So in order to help him with prompts from the sidelines, I’m fulfilling my patriotic duty by proposing a few simple issues for him, hoping this will enable Rep. Walsh to break his deafening silence; thus, enabling all of us to cast fully informed ballots.

For starters, Rep. Walsh, your fellow Trumpsters have regularly promised to replace the Affordable Care Act with something better. This is a huge issue throughout the Twin Harbors since a significant portion of our population counts as senior citizens. Yet your party has voted more than 50 times to repeal the ACA. Changes thus far implemented have resulted in an anticipated 20 percent increase in premiums for health insurance. Economists tell us that the largest portion of these premium hikes will fall on working middle class families who earn a tad too much to qualify for subsidies.

Twenty Trumpster Party controlled states are moving forward with legal challenges to the ACA. These legal actions include attempts to eliminate the ACA provision requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Contrary to your party’s position, Rep. Walsh, 75 percent of Americans consider coverage for pre-existing conditions to be important. Again, contrary to Trumpster Party operatives a majority of Americans favor ACA and Medicare-for-all. Rep. Walsh, we’re all counting on you to help us understand your Trumpster Party’s reasoning relative to health care. And we need your explanation now rather than after the November election. Rep. Walsh, during this important election cycle your silence is deafening regarding all-important health care issues!

Rep. Walsh, do you agree or disagree with your party’s national strategy of using voter ID laws to screen out people of color, the young and the poor? Multiple studies prove there is no epidemic of voter fraud. Rep. Walsh, is your Trumpster Party afraid of our country’s changing demographics, so frightened that you feel compelled to “tinker” with our democracy by way of restricting access to the ballot box? Your silence is deafening, Rep. Walsh!

We also need to hear from you regarding your party’s position relative to Social Security. Contrary to your Trumpster Party propaganda, Social Security is not going broke. In fact, the fund currently has a surplus of $2.9 trillion. That’s enough to pay all benefits into the future for decades! Yet this and other critical safety nets are targeted by your party for substantial cuts in 2019 as a way of reducing the federal deficit spawned in large part by your Trumpster Party’s hefty tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations. Again, Rep. Walsh, your silence is deafening! We need to hear from you!

For years prior to the Republican Party morphing into the Trumpster Party Republicans claimed family values as their exclusive marker or brand. Now with misogynist Trump in your party’s front office it must be a bit awkward for you, Rep. Walsh. This is especially so since Trump’s proud public boasts of exploitation of women. Rep. Walsh, your silence is deafening!

Further at odds with family values are reports of detained migrant children being transferred from shelters across the country to a barren tent city in West Texas where they apparently have no access to school and only limited access to legal counsel. Rep. Walsh, your silence is deafening!

Rep. Walsh, your silence is deafening regarding the Trumpster Party’s abandonment of family values. We need to hear from you!

Although most issues mentioned here are playing out on the national stage, they do reveal color and texture of the attitudes and perspectives of state office holders claiming membership in the Trumpster Party. So it is that as a member of that party voters need you to break your deafening silence; thus, enabling fully informed ballots that will dictate Washington State’s future. Whether Democrats or members of the former Republican Party, we all need to hear from you, Rep. Walsh. Your silence is deafening!

Dave Gauger is president of Gauger Media Service, Inc., a print media brokerage and consulting firm with offices in Raymond, Washington and Hesperia, California.

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