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The events of Jan. 6, 2021 will be a hard reminder of the fragility of our democracy. The fuel to the fire is found in dividing people through mythological pasts, victimhood, conspiracy theories, anti-intellectualism, scapegoating, and toxic militarism.

Instead of policies that lift up workers in a post-industrial world and enable union power, leadership has led them toward an ideology that ultimately is self-destructive. An ideology that inhibits social and economic progress, and divides society and the working-class by race, faith and political mythology.

Our local leadership has shirked their duties as representatives; they must know that their presentation influences our political consciousness. It is sad that E. Werner Reschke has not only avoided condemning an attempted coup, but has been touting conspiracy theories, lifting up social media like Parler, and continues exacerbating division using race and mythological history. Linthicum, as usual, has been silent and retweeting "fake news." They are both consistently anti-intellectual, anti-progress and express bigotry. That is not true democracy, that is fanaticism. They should be roundly condemned by all Oregon leadership.

The left has always fought for democracy — the right to vote, speak, write, and think. The foundations of our institutions and democracy are only tenable if we remove the alienation we experience economically and politically. We must support journalism, an appreciation for education and critical thinking — not reaction, and see through lies cloaked as patriotism. We must have a politics that is built on empathy, love and an understanding that my well-being is wrapped up with the well-being of all.

Klamath Falls deserves better leadership, we deserve an alternative economics that allows for all to be lifted up.

Sunshine Adams, Jonathan Chenjeri, Helen Mansfield, Crystal Muneau and Linda Weatherford

Board members, Klamath Falls Democratic Socialists of America