Opening the door to evil

Dear Editor:

The recent history of Western Civilization teaches one very clear and important lesson. Simply put, it is this: No politician, and no political organization, should ever seek to legitimize and presume that they can control, a domestic Nazi party energized and unleashed onto the main streets of our cities.

Nazis dehumanize those whom they despise and believe violence against those whom they hate to be a sacrament. They are violent gangsters fueled by ideology.

As Americans, we are already too used to certain kinds of violence: seemingly random shootings in public areas, organized, targeted murders in battered and impoverished inner city neighborhoods, even political assassinations.

And we have seen the corner store with its Korean, Mexican, Muslim, Sikh or Jewish storekeeper, looted and burned. But, even in spite of this, we are unprepared for what is qualitatively different about Nazi violence: They will loot and burn, but only after they beat to death the shopkeeper and his family on the street corner while you look on.

Politicians, any of us, who ignore this lesson, are putting any hope we might have of an America surviving as a principled, civil society at the greatest risk.

And I say this not because I am Jewish. I say this because I am Sikh, Muslim, Somali, Mexican, African American, gay, transgender …

There is another lesson, one which our elders have been beating us over the head with for generations: Evil enters the world when we fail to recognize ourselves in one another’s faces and stories. Nazism opens wide the door to this evil, enabling our worst impulses to become our legacy.

David Asia, Twisp

Great leadership

Dear Editor:

I cannot thank Solveig Torvik enough for honoring some of my folks, friends, mentors and this state’s greatest political servants of their era of power (1960s – ’90s) in Washington state. We would not have this beautiful and economically stable state without them.

These leaders knew who they served. Not a political party, but the people and those that depended on their political leaders to preserve their heritage and well being here in our great state.

They knew that the people depended on them to pass down the legacy that they inherited from their fore fathers and mothers. They also knew that they needed to make money to be able to put in place the protections that would preserve our heritage for generations to come. They knew how to balance those two needs(money and preservation) and worked hard to find political compromise to do so.

I had the honor of being asked to attend Dan Evans’ celebration and the naming of 95 percent of Olympic National Park and its wilderness for him. Dan Evans and his fellow public servants are the gold standard of by-patrician politics, and their legacy proves that compromise gets things done, something that seems to be lost today in our politics, which is unfortunately spilling over into our American society.

We need more people of that character to run and serve as our leaders today so we will not have the divisions that our current political parties are seemingly fueling for reasons that neither I, nor Evans, Monroe, Dicks and Ruckelshaus said to me last week, could understand. We are fortunate in north central Washington to have those people stepping up and serving today.

Dan, Ralph, Norm and Bill challenged us there to find those “old” leader types in our young generation that will lead us out of this growing massif of political idi(ot)logical division that is harming our democracy and making people focus on our few differences, instead of the many things that we agree on. 

Think we, not me. We are Americans and together we are at our best!

John Willett, Mazama/Kitsap