To the editor:
U.S. flag code clearly states only a governor or president can order U.S. flags flown at half-staff, and an upside down flag is a sign of distress. So the owner of the Follansbee McDonald's violated flag code and insulted democracy itself by flying the store's flag upside down and at half-staff the day after the election.
Patriots - true patriots - are nothing if not believers in the Republic and our Constitutional government. The majority of American voters cast their votes for Barack Obama. The Electoral College is virtually a two-to-one mandate. Mitt Romney gave a gracious concession speech. There was no coup, and democracy didn't die. To unilaterally declare an election in America where the will of the people went against your personal desires a sign of national distress and reason to mourn is nothing short of sour-grapes. Being a sore loser is one thing, but claiming to be the true patriot while violating flag code is not only un-American, it's hypocritical.
How the tea party has convinced themselves that they're the real Americans and those of us who have a different vision for America - one that isn't twisted up in white traditions and old-world religious dogma - are somehow less deserving and less "patriotic" is a sad testament to their delusions and their blissful lack of self-awareness.
I could let the right continue with its ignorant fear-mongering and its campaigns of lies confident that it would only assure a Democrat would be elected in 2016, but unlike them, I actually do love my country and hope for its future. So I would be remiss to not help them put forward the best possible candidacy and run people who might actually help America should they happen to win. With that in mind; Republicans, here's how you need to change if you ever hope to float a viable candidate in the future.
First, stop pandering to your radical base. It may get you nominated, but they're only a minority in the general election. Consider, if even your primaries are split between those who support forcing women to carry rape-babies and those who are horrified at the thought of being represented by a lunatic like that, how can you hope to get independents and Democrats to vote your way?
Second, science is real. You may not like it that God isn't going to rapture you at the tipping point moment of climate catastrophe, it may bother your delicate sensibilities recognizing that in your genetic tree distant grandma had a protruding cranial ridge and hairy back, and maybe it scares you thinking men in airtight capsules actually exploded through the firmament and walked on that ball of green-cheese, but denying it does nothing to advance society and only assures your eventual dismissal to the annals of historic oblivion.
Finally, don't patronize businesses that cater to radicals. That includes Fox News Channel, anything owned by the Kochs and the Follansbee McDonald's. Maybe when their pocketbooks feel it, they'll stop hijacking Reagan's party.
J. David Core