Gov. Nikki Haley is an idiot. She has banned the Confederate battle flag that never flew over any capital in the 1860s and never represented the continuation of slavery. The “battle flag” was a way to know where your regiment was in the heat of battle. She based the ban on the actions of one mentally deranged fool. But the response to the president’s vapid State of the Union address takes the cake. The only Republicans who should share the blame for today’s bad feeling are the Washington GOP and their supporters.

The rank and file of the Republican voters has been ignored and ridiculed by both the Democrats and the GOP leadership. This vast group of patriotic and educated Americans has been abandoned and denigrated by Nikki Haley and the Washington elite who consider us unwashed and ignorant for clinging to our constitutional rights. The recent collapse of the right as shown in Paul Ryan’s approval of the massively expensive Obama budget, including “Obamacare,” and the desire of business elite for cheap, illegal foreign labor are all too clearly a repudiation of our conservative principles.

We Americans love immigration — legal immigration — by those who want to come and become Americans, who accept American values and language and culture.

What we will not accept are those who come here in violation of our laws, imposing their own cultures and mores on America without wanting to accept the responsibilities of citizenship.

As to Haley’s claims of “broken government,” the Constitution is deliberately designed to make passage of laws as difficult as possible. There are designed, deliberate checks and balances and three divisions of the government. That is what the founders wanted so as to limit government overreach and overregulation. Read the Federalist Papers if you want to know how they felt. There is nothing here that needs to be “fixed.”

The voices of conservative Americans are quiet and reasoned. We are not shouting, nor are we misinformed or ignorant. The final State of the Union by President Obama and the opening lines of the response by Gov. Haley are equally ridiculous and misinformed.

John Harling

retired attorney and professional engineer

Baton Rouge