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White House McCain (copy)

The late Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., pauses before speaking to reporters during a meeting of the National Defense Authorization Act conferees Oct. 25, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

In this age of incessant rants on cable news, voices conveying moderation are overwhelmed and drowned out by extremists. Those extremists, on the right and the left, consistently ignore facts and common sense.

The far-left says health care should be free when, in reality, there’s no such thing as “free” health care. If it’s implemented, every taxpayer will pay for it. It’d be like car insurance; everyone who drives a car is required to buy it. Most of us never get back what we put into it, but if we have an accident, it’s sure nice to have it.

But it can’t be economically possible until pharmaceutical companies and healthcare facilities stop gouging the public. In the United States, prices for most medications are at least twice as much as in other countries. Doctors and health care facilities in the U.S. also make much more than in other countries, so that would have to change.

As for higher education, instead of “free college for everyone” touted by some on the left, students should be able to get low-interest loans that can be refinanced. Eligible, low-income students should be able to get meaningful tuition assistance for state college and technical school education.

Even then, as Gov. Tony Evers said, students need some “skin in the game” to fully appreciate their educations. It doesn’t hurt a college student to work a part-time job during the school year and a full-time job in the summers. Done right, meaningful assistance would result in profits as graduates get well-paid jobs and pay state and federal taxes.

Then there are those on the left who want to eliminate nuclear power even though it’s the most efficient clean energy source we have. It takes just a handful of uranium pellets the size of an eraser to run a nuclear plant for months and the waste, if contained in steel-reinforced concrete and buried, is harmless. Right now, all over the country, there are concrete silos of nuclear waste sitting in nuclear power plant parking lots. Until the federal government decides where to put them, they’ll remain there, harmless unless they’re opened.

Many liberals also don’t consider that iron ore, rare minerals and lethal chemicals are used to produce solar panels and wind turbines. Most of those materials need to be mined, yet many liberals protest against mining of any sort, anywhere. That doesn’t make sense.

Some on the far-left also rant against candidates who take corporate money.

How their favorite candidates can afford to compete, when it can cost millions of dollars to run, is something they don’t consider.

I agree the current type of campaign financing should be abolished, and that elections should be funded by a few dollars from every taxpayer when they file their taxes. That would eliminate almost all the government corruption we’ve seen for way too long. But we’re not there yet.

Then there are the extremists on the far-right. The difference is the far-left wants to help people and the environment, even if some of their goals are unrealistic. The far-right, however, is out to harm and take away the rights of people who have done nothing wrong — like those whose color, religion, sexual orientation or nation of origin differs from theirs. Instead of being hope-filled, many on the far-right are hate-filled and proven to be dangerous.

Even conservatives have been warning about the dangers of the far-right. In a May 30, 2017, article in the conservative National Review, David French calls out politicians who stoke extremism.

Sen. John McCain knew what was going on, too. Not long before he died, he warned Congress and the public, “Stop listening to the loudmouths!”

Granted, small groups of leftist extremists like Antifa make a lot of noise, but the dangers they pose aren’t nearly as serious as those of the far-right.

In an Aug. 21, 2017, article, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, stated that nationalist and right-wing terrorists … “have killed about 10 times as many people as left-wing terrorists.” Incidentally, the Cato Institute was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974, and is supported by conservatives and libertarians.

Amid the clamor, where are the moderate voices? Where are the ones who want to end the divisions and elect lawmakers who work for the good of hard-working people?

They’re out there. In fact, they’re the majority. But their voices aren’t heard often enough above rowdy extremists.

Some of those moderates are, or will be, running for office in 2020. It’s to the voters’ benefit to listen to them carefully, ask questions, decide which ones are fair, honest and realistic, and then, most importantly, vote.

Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 35 years. Contact her at patnash5149@gmail.com.

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