A  healthy democracy depends on a robust opposition party to push back against the excesses of single-party governance, give voice to minority perspectives, and compel compromise and common ground from the majority party for the benefit of all citizens.

Unfortunately, if Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ unhinged response to the State of the Union was meant to represent the Republican Party at large, opposition politics in America has devolved to little more than belligerent, childish name-calling and paranoid fantasies.

In contrast to President Biden’s celebration of the bipartisan accomplishments of the past legislative session and his appeal to “finish the job,” Gov. Sanders chose to perpetuate divisiveness, portraying her supporters as “normal” and dismissing Americans who disagree with her vision as “crazy.” She accused the government of being “hijacked by the woke mob,” one of the many meaningless catch phrases right-wing activists grasp at when they have no substantive policy platform to debate.

In fact, the only piece of legislation she chose to mention in her address was not anything the Biden administration has passed, but her own Arkansas LEARNS bill, which promises to dramatically limit funding for Arkansas’ public school system and reallocate it to private and religious institutions.

In one of her most ironic statements, she accused the Democratic Party of “stripping away freedom of speech,” while simultaneously boasting of her plans to outlaw teaching Black history in Arkansas schools. Like all hypocrites, she is either oblivious to or unbothered by her own contradictory thinking.

I will agree with her that American politics is overdue for bold, generational change. Let’s begin by abandoning this kind of vile rhetoric and the politicians spreading it.


Jonathan Strieff

South China

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