With reference to the letter in the Tribune July 11 regarding the Spicer parade, I have the following comments. The word "Bro" from the objected-to sign, "Don't Tax Me, Bro", according to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, is a noun which means brother. The word's etymology dates back to the 1800s. The secondary definition is soul brother, which is a much more recent adaptation and could be referred to as racial slang, but certainly not a racial slur.
The writer's accusation that we were "making attacks on the president" is similarly unfounded.
We disagree with the policies he is proposing and rapidly implementing. (So rapidly, in fact, that our elected representatives have not even read the legislation they were voting for.) We believe, as many independents and conservative Democrats do, that we cannot spend ourselves into prosperity (stimulus package), that cap and trade is really a tax (and a big one), and that a $1.5 trillion health care reform plan being proposed is a "web of bureaucracy" that will cost even more than proposed. This bill will come due to our children and grandchildren. Those issues were what the signs were addressing.
We are still proud to be the party of Abraham Lincoln and hold to the principles he espoused. We will have copies of our platform available at the Kandiyohi County Fair for those who wish to have a copy. We will let you make your own decision.
On July 4, 1776, a group of men dedicated their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, not so that we could have parades, picnics and fireworks, but so that we are free to object to policies that we believe will do long-term harm to our country. To deny that we have that right or attempt to silence us by intoning the r-word is sheer demagoguery.
Roland A. Nissen
Co-Chair, Kandiyohi County Republican Party