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Speak up for a progressive agenda

That the Democratic Party is the graveyard of progressive ideas is by now so well established as to have become a cliché [“Live updates from the DNC,” Politics, July 25]. I’m optimistic, though. Grass-roots enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders’ campaign persuades me that Democrats can’t be hoodwinked forever.

Now that Sanders has capitulated and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, his supporters are understandably demoralized. The progressive agenda that fueled his campaign is in danger of dying. That agenda likely will not be nurtured when Clinton is nominated at the Democratic National Convention. That agenda will be suffocated and smothered by Clinton’s mastery of tepid, nonthreatening incrementalism that preserves the status quo.

At a time when our political system is blinking red for change (how else explain the Donald Trump phenomenon?), we are on course for “more of the same” unless progressives show up in numbers to demonstrate, agitate, protest and press for their agenda when Democrats convene in Philadelphia.

That may make for an unruly convention. So be it. “Be there,” writer Richard Moser warns, “or be triangulated.”

Joe Wallace, Seattle

How Trump could have unified the party

As a Ted Cruz supporter, I looked forward to the Republican National Convention. The speech by Cruz was going to be the high point, and then I would attempt to support the ticket.

Everyone in the political world knew Cruz’s speech would not “endorse” but would be a statement of a common philosophy. What actually happened, including the actions of Washington state GOP Chairwoman Susan Hutchison, did little to unite our party — boos, catcalls, harassment of Heidi Cruz, and Hutchison confronting the couple with angry words.  Now, Cruz supporters have reason to wonder whether their support as conservatives is valued in our state or national party.

Here is how the Republican Party could have been united in Cleveland:

  • Prior to Cruz’s speech, Donald Trump could have explained to his supporting delegates (through his floor leaders) that the agreed-upon arrangement with Cruz was not to include an endorsement, so please behave courteously.
  • Trump could have delayed his entrance into the hall until Cruz had exited the stage.
  • When booing erupted (whether spontaneous or planned), Trump could have motioned to his supporters not to boo the speaker.
  • Courtesy could have been extended to Heidi Cruz.
  • Hutchison, upon meeting Ted and Heidi Cruz after the speech, could have said, “My delegation wishes you the best.” (The Washington delegation was partly pro-Cruz.)
  • The next day, Trump could have refrained from including 7 minutes of negative comments about Cruz in his press conference.

It is so sad that this unifying sequence of events did not occur.

Ann Donnelly, Vancouver

Treasonous behavior

I would like to inform Susan Hutchinson whom the real “traitors” are [“Washington delegates divided after Hutchinson confronts Cruz as ‘traitor'”].  The real traitors are those republicans who, like herself, would sell this entire country down the river for the sole purpose of having a republican in the White House.  Now, that is treason.