DEC Chair Richard Thripp has described himself on several occasions–with apparent pride!–as “ruthless.” (See, for example. Mark Harper’s story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.) That’s puzzled me. I mean, this is a word with powerfully negative connotations. I don’t remember ever hearing anyone describe himself or herself publicly as “ruthless.”
It’s a term of insult and condemnation. My computer’s built-in thesaurus begins its list of approximate synonyms with this:
merciless, pitiless, cruel, heartless, hard-hearted, hard, stony-hearted, stony, with a heart of stone, cold-blooded, cold-hearted, harsh, callous, severe, unmerciful, unrelenting, unsparing, unforgiving, unfeeling, uncaring, unsympathetic, uncharitable, lacking compassion….
“Ruthless” is a term one would use to describe Ebenezer Scrooge before he’s visited by Marley’s three ghosts. They’re descriptors of Republican values. They are 180° opposite the values that have defined the Democratic Party since the 1930s.
With whom would you associate these values: Mitch McConnell or Ted Cruz or Rand Paul on the one hand? Or, say, Elizabeth Warren or Jeff Merkley or Cory Booker on the other? Exactly! These are Republican values and characteristics.
So why would the Chair of the DEC characterize himself that way? With great pride, remember! Easy. Less than two years ago Richard Thripp changed his voter registration from Republican to Democrat. He did not change his heart, his values, or his character, however. He remains just as much a Republican now as he was in 2016 when he voted for Donald Trump.