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Letter: Holding us hostage

Listening to news radio today, I heard three people — one elderly, one with serious medical issues, and one locked out of her job — say that they were extremely frightened by what was going on in Washington. With the sequester, the shutdown, and the looming debt ceiling fight, they were very worried for themselves and their country. Later, I heard a Republican Congressperson say that she, unlike those locked out of their jobs, needed her paycheck and another say that in his opinion these almost unprecedented actions were not actually affecting anyone (especially them, in their gerrymandered districts) seriously. I understand political differences, but these seemed extreme and started me thinking.

When I returned home, I looked up the definition of “terrorist.” The definition is “usually, a member of a group who frightens or terrorizes others.” Straightforward enough. So why don’t we call the group that includes Boehner, Cruz, Cantor, Bachman et al, terrorists? This crew of thoughtless radical nincompoops is holding the country hostage, causing real fear in individual lives, and is trying to use this fear to exact (extort?) demands from those who want to do their jobs. Sounds like terrorist tactics to me. Or is it simply Republican politics in the 21st century?

BARRY T. MCCOLGAN

Greenfield

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