Having carried the GOP banner most of my life and served in the Ohio House, I have watched my party self-destruct. We once referred to the far-right extremists as the “cave man caucus.”

As I look at the behavior of Republicans these past six years I am embarrassed and appalled by their obstructionism. It’s no wonder the approval rating of Congress is 6 percent. The past three sessions have proved to be the lowest in accomplishments in the past 50 years.

They seem to take pride in being elected by some kind of mandate, but they drew district lines in their favor and over 500,000 more votes were cast for Democrats than Republicans in 2012. Instead of arrogance, they should show humility for cheating.

I am amused by the anger in this year’s election and wonder why that anger is not directed at those who have been so destructive.

The future depends on the removal of the obstructionist party. I encourage my friends to defeat every Republican. It is the only way to purge our politics of the destruction we have witnessed.

Once removed from power, we can hope Republicans return to a more positive agenda.

To vote for Trump is to enable the hateful rhetoric and attitudes and empower white supremacists.

My vote is not to return to the cave men but look for an inclusive country in which bigotry, hate and partisan obstruction have no voice.

Thomas Watkins

Stow

Deplorable ?and proud?

The Sept. 16 article “Trump supporters embrace ‘deplorable’ label” has me stumped.

The article extols the fact that Donald Trump fans embraced their new label of “deplorable” with buttons and T-shirts. It prominently featured a family of four wearing “Proud Deplorable Voter for Trump Pence” T-shirts at a recent rally in Canton.

My question for this family and the others who proudly wear this label is, exactly which deplorable traits are you proud of? Is it that you are a racist? Perhaps you’re homophobic, xenophobic or one of the other traits Hillary Clinton pointed out as deplorable.

If you are any of these, count me as one who agrees with the fact you are deplorable and un-American. However, if you don’t directly associate yourself with any of these traits, then you either must be wearing your T-shirt in support of bigots or simply don’t realize you are promoting bigotry.

Clinton was correct in pointing out how Trump caters to the anger and hatred of the alt-right deplorables. From “gas chamber” comments by Donald Trump Jr. to having his campaign chaired by someone who built a platform for white nationalists, Trump and his campaign are giving voice to those who should rightly be shouted down en masse.

Robert Poshedley

Twinsburg

Both sides ?of free speech

In the Sept. 17 letter “Our freedom to protest,” the writer states, “Political protests are the foundation of what makes this country great.” He then notes that “those who look down on Colin Kaepernick for sitting down for the national anthem … see the protest as an insult to our military and soldiers who fought and died for our ‘freedoms.’?”

He goes on to say, “Kaepernick’s detractors need to reflect on what that means. He is using freedom to express himself.”

However, that cuts both ways. I would suggest the writer stop and reflect on the fact that those who protest Kaepernick’s actions are likewise using their freedom to express themselves.

Alan G. Segedy

Akron

Do not disturb ?sacred sites

My father and sister and brother-in-law are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls. I do not believe any oil company would consider building a pipeline through it or probably any other cemetery in the United States.

Why then decide to construct a pipeline in the Dakotas that destroys Native Americans’ sacred burial sites?

Native Americans deserve better treatment. This is about brute corporate greed and power running roughshod over the poor and oppressed.

I pray peace and justice will prevail and the oil companies choose a different site to build their pipeline.

Bill Somody

Cuyahoga Falls