This isn't your daddy's Democratic party

  Your recent article on "Imagining a Democratic West" was a refreshing attempt to really examine the political realities of the West, rather than just engaging in the usual Republican-bashing (HCN, 4/12/04: The One-Party West). As one of the many conservative Westerners who really does care about our environment, I’d like to see some changes that would break the power of big business and prevent the destruction of our region. Unfortunately, as your article correctly points out, I have a hard time trusting a party that seems to be dominated by environmental extremists from the coasts.

Also, it’s important to note that some of the prominent Western Democrats of the past came from a time when two liberal Democrat presidents got us into an unpopular war, while their Republican successor got us out and also signed landmark environmental legislation. Bottom line, today’s party is not your daddy’s Democratic party, and you’ll have a hard time attracting conservatives to support it.

That said, I think we need to find some way of coming together at the state and local levels to deal with all our pressing regional issues. If we wait until we reach agreement on the national social issues of the day, we’ll probably all be long gone and our region will be trashed. I hope that you will continue to publish articles proposing ways that we can focus on the local issues that concern all of us, while we continue to respectfully disagree on everything else.

Neil Snyder
Idaho Falls, Idaho

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