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STEWART WINKLER, San Juan Capistrano

I wanted to thank the paper for creating a learning opportunity on the timely subject of fake news.  In your Feb. 14 article, “The Road to Capitol Hill,” Brian Maryott is quoted/wrote, “Nor will I accept that the halving of defense spending, advocated for by the repulsive Green New Deal, should it ever be given any credence…” 

Having taken the time to read the Green New Deal, I turned that quote into a teachable moment with my 14-year-old daughter Charlotte.  I showed her the quote, because she is interested in climate change. I said it is always a good idea to check your facts and suggested we find the language in the Green New Deal that Brian Maryott referenced. 

It took us about 15 minutes to go through the Green New Deal because of the legal language she did not know.  If you haven’t read it, it is 14 pages total. Keeping Brian’s statement in mind, we went through it, and she was surprised because not only was there no mention of cutting the defense budget, but she was baffled why, if that was the basis of Brian’s argument, he would call the Green New Deal “repulsive.” How can he feel so strongly about it if his argument has nothing to do with the document? 

I know Brian personally, and I consider him to be an affable and smart person, so it is surprising and disappointing to see untrue statements leveraging language which is divisive. In my opinion, leaders in any capacity are chosen to manage teams, which means collaboration. How can you propose to be a leader, to rally the people behind you, to build consensus, by suggesting anyone’s ideas are “repulsive”? 

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