The U.S. Congress and Senate should be the leading chambers for debate on critical issues facing the nation and the world. When so many key issues demand our national attention and action, those serving us as representatives in Washington should be engaging in serious discussions of the issues. While it is quite reasonable for intelligent and rational minds to differ on the conclusions drawn from the available evidence, what our representatives should not be doing is simply ignoring evidence and making up data that seem to support the political conclusions and positions they have already established. We all have a right to our own opinions, but we do not have a right to our own facts. When we make up the evidence, no conclusions we draw or opinions we formulate are worth anything -- even if they enjoy political support.
Our future is dependent on rational and intelligent debate leading to reasonable conclusions from the evidence. It is deeply regrettable that one party in Washington has elected to become the party simply of "No!" Apparently persuaded by the extreme right-wing nut cases of the tea party movement, the GOP -- once a party including sane environmentalists and conservationists among its number -- has abdicated rational debate and opted to follow the nut cases wherever they lead.
During a vote last week on a proposal to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the ability to regulate air quality, and thus promote dirty air, not one Republican in the Senate voted "Nay."
ALAN JOURNET, Cape Girardeau