Editor, Times-Union:

Consider this an open letter to all extreme right-wing wannabe dictator followers. You are in the minority when it comes to running our country, but you have the majority of destructive ideas. Whether you are a sitting politician, an aspiring politician, or just a self-serving busybody, you have no legal, moral, ethical, or “god-given” right to run my life or anybody else’s.

First, I do not espouse your personal religious beliefs. I have a right to my own beliefs and have no desire or intention to run or judge your life based on those beliefs. Furthermore, you have no right to make your religion or my religion or anybody else’s religion the ultimate interpreter of our Constitution and its subsequently enacted laws. Our Constitution should not in any way be construed to be a religiously inspired guide to life. Rather, it is an ever-developing manual full of good ideas about running a free country — a country created by and governed by a population of diverse, free people. Oh, and it has been amended 27 times to meet the needs and rights of those people.

Second, I do not profess to be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, fascist, communist, liberal or conservative. I am a proud and very concerned American. I find it offensive to be labeled anything because of my diverse beliefs. Also, it is mind boggling that in a country of over 300,000,000 people, we have only two “parties” from which to choose our leaders. It is disturbing that someone with sound ideas about running our towns, states and country has no chance to be elected unless and until he/she becomes a card-carrying toadie of one of two parties, wears gaudy party hats, and carries the most vile flags. Why must anyone have to choose sides or declare allegiance to any group? Does anybody think for him/herself any more? Is there anybody left who does not believe in his/her own superiority over others?

Finally, am I the only one who sees our country backsliding into an America of fewer freedoms? I see an America weakening because politicians refuse to do what is right for their constituents but take every opportunity to do what keeps them in power. The most recent votes in our U.S. Senate saw 20 of the 50 Republicans vote “No” to a bill tightening laws against human trafficking. There were 41 Republican votes against a veterans’ health bill, denying help for military persons harmed by the burn pits in Middle Eastern countries. (By the way, our own Senators Braun and Young were among the no votes.) In the House, 187 Republicans voted against the “chip” bill which would dramatically help technology expansion here, lessen our dependence on China’s manufacturing of the chips, grow our economy, and relieve the bogged down supply of products.

I guess the minority party has to maintain its power by not caving to the majority party’s ideas, especially when they have none of their own.

Jeanne Schutz

Winona Lake