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From the Far Margins

Dear Mr. Yates

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At their glorious Primary Election night gathering, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates said of Idaho Democrats, "Our values are better than theirs." He elaborated for the assembled crowd, pointing out the Republican party's five Fs: "Faith, Family, Freedom and Firearms."

Dear Mr. Yates,

It's clear that your party's values are better than Democrats' values. Your Idaho Republican elected officials demonstrate that and your four "F's" fearlessly each day: Faith, Family, Freedom and Firearms. What could be more wholesome?

Like the way you value freedom and families so much that you let parents kill their children rather than restrict their religious liberties, or say simply that children have the right to some form of life and liberty the way their parents do.

You're like that with women, as well. You demonstrate it beautifully. Your liberty to force women to bear children or deprive them of health care services is far more important than theirs to decide if they can feed and care for a child so they don't end up neglected, hungry or abused by the molesting husbands and boyfriends whose firearms you love to encourage them to own so they can keep women in line.

When it comes to faith, you all have nailed the Constitution to a tree and shot it full of holes. No one does that better. You do such a good job making sure to protect our freedom to worship, proselytize and teach about your god and only your god. Our founding fathers, I'm sure, escaped religious persecution in Europe so you could make people of Islamic faith fear for their lives.

Speaking of faith, what is more important than your worship of fossil fuels and allowance of energy companies to drill for natural gas, pump chemicals into the ground and use pressure to force gas to the surface—regardless of what it does to the groundwater or those who drink from nearby wells? Patriots sacrifice when oil and gas calls and they know better than to complain.

Idaho Republicans have also been stalwart when it comes to wages, highlighting their values in bare-boned kids whose only solid meal of the day is the school lunch the federal government provides so their multiple job-holding parents can leave them to fend for themselves while they bring home $7.25 an hour, 60 hours a week.

Naturally, the Idaho GOP's values are better than those of the other party who keep trying to increase wages and make sure people can find and afford psychiatric care and drug treatment. You show us daily how people should have the freedom to be addicts so you can pay private prison companies to house them at $50 a day forever.

Indeed, you're better than those morally bankrupt socialists who don't think it's right that people spend their lives shackled to debt they incurred trying to get an education. And yes, the right to life says nothing about medical care. Of course only the wealthy deserve health care on a regular basis. It is far more fun (another "F" word) to waste taxpayers' dollars on treating non-wealthy people's cancers or caring for them when their illnesses have become chronic and untreatable, or they are in real pain.

And lawsuits, they're like roulette. You pass a bunch of bills and some get struck down, but on a lucky day they don't and someone dies. It's a big part of the budget, defending what you pass.

On an unrelated note, under the big "F" for fun, it is always convenient to have a few vulnerable social groups to call dangerous, so you can promise voters you'll protect them from the boogeymen. It's like the way you signal whose lives matter by making sure no law prevents harm to those who you feel deserve it. For example, gay people like Steven Nelson—because being able to legally fire them (note the fabulous "F" in that), being able to evict them or tell them and all the people like them that they are not welcome in your restaurant, grocery store or car repair shop is not enough. You like to make sure the environment in our communities encourages people to kill rather than tolerate gay people.

The firearms you love so much are a particularly shining example of your values, as you feel every household should have several with which to shoot whoever scares us, be they black men, immigrants or refugees. That freedom is more important to you, apparently, than the possibility that a toddler might pick up a gun and shoot his or her mother—because that never happens.

That freedom is also seemingly more important than the fact that Idaho's teen suicide rate remains in the top 10 in the nation, due in large part to the fact that gay, poor, psychologically damaged, sick, hungry, abused children more often than not have a gun handy on the one day they finally despair and want to leave this world and the toxic places you have allowed to exist by refusing to say their lives are of value and their futures will be filled with hope and freedom from discrimination, poverty, untreated illness or fear.

Again Mr. Yates, the values of Idaho's Republican elected officials are so clearly and formidably better than those of any other political party. We are so glad you have closed your primary elections to all but appropriately branded Republicans so you can make your best effort at choosing the cream of the crop every election, more or less unbothered by any values but your own.