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Open letter to Representative Brett Guthrie

Dear Mr. Guthrie,

I recently received a letter addressed to fellow “Kentucky Conservative” with a request for a contribution to your 2020 election campaign. The letter indicates that I was “… highlighted by a trusted friend as one of the most principled, reliable Conservatives in Kentucky…”

I am a registered Independent who has voted in every local, state and national election in the past 40+ years based on the issues and the credibility and record of the candidates, not the labels they or others attach to them.

Since your election as Representative, I have observed your efforts to stay in touch with the residents of your district and to understand the issues affecting your constituents. This recent fund-raising letter filled with distortions and ultra-partisan clichés has undone that. 

The letter and pledge form include “socialist/Socialist Squad” 12 times in reference to Democrats in Congress. This is a blatant effort to capitalize on the fears of ill-informed individuals who equate socialism with communism. It harkens back to the ‘red scare’ tactics of the 1950s. It is ironic that in the same letter you affirm your allegiance to a president who has repeatedly demonstrated his desire to emulate authoritarian Communist leaders.

The letter uses “impeachment sham” and “ridiculous impeachment crusade” to characterize the legislative investigation of possible improper presidential actions. The letter paints those involved in the investigations as “impeachment-crazed leftists.” Such rhetoric betrays the party-before-country and the-facts-don’t-matter mentality of Trump apologists. Those attitudes are the real sham of the impeachment process.

The litany of false assertions about policy initiatives of Democrats is also an attempt to rally support for you by playing on fears of “job killing legislation”, “forfeiting control of … our economy”, “open borders”, “decriminalization of those who break our laws”, “abortion legal up to and beyond the moment of birth”, (up to and beyond?) and “sweeping gun bans”.

Mr. Guthrie, I thought — and hoped — that YOU were better than this! Name calling and exaggerated characterizations to demonize others are not the actions of anyone professing to be “a dedicated supporter of the Constitution” who represents “Kentucky values”. Your letter was an insult to my intelligence — and to the intelligence of every Kentuckian in your district who takes his/her citizenship and vote seriously and seeks to understand the issues affecting their state and the country. No principled conservative should support such deceitful and petty partisan pandering.

Steve Rinehart

Danville