Just when you think we’ve hit our saturation point of screaming “racist!” at everyone who disagrees with us politically, the Chinook Observer prints the column “Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s silence speaks volumes.”

The author begins with a hysterical Nazi reference. Then he calls Latina congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler a “clansman.” Not even halfway through his letter, he accuses Mexican-American Jaime Herrera Beutler of voting for white supremacy. The paper was in my recycling bin before I could read the conclusion, but I got the gist.

Once upon a time, there was a Nazi threat to freedom, and the Ku Klux Klan was a menacing force that physically threatened African Americans. Panicky columns like this one that put a congresswoman from Southwest Washington in the membership of the KKK cheapen those profoundly dark lessons from history.

Furthermore, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is one of the most effective members of Congress from our state. She’s known for securing bipartisan health care solutions into law, including life-saving aid for organ donors. She’s been a champion for fishing issues, boldly guiding the rest of Washington’s congressional delegation to pass legislation to remove sea lions decimating our salmon runs. And just last year, she was ranked as the 15th most bipartisan member of Congress out of 438 members.

And she’s also publicly stood up to politicians when they cross the lines with destructive language — yes, the president and yes, she’s publicly called out members of the Democrat Party who echo dangerous anti-Semitic sentiments too.

If anything, we should elect more leaders like Congresswoman Herrera Beutler who rise above the political mess we find ourselves in to actually solve problems. Our nation would be in much better shape if we did.



EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Ahrens could not have had the opportunity to recycle his newspaper in response to what he read, as the opinion by Dave Gauger to which he refers appeared only online earlier this month and not in physical print. We print his letter this week so his response can appear in parallel with the Gauger comment that sparked it.

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