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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Liberal agenda items have made the U.S. better

 

Dear Editor,

In regard to Steve Heinbauch’s letter of Feb. 16, 2014, I feel that it is necessary to respond to yet another smug, holier-than-thou, can’t-be-wrong, piece of right-wing drivel.

I consider myself a liberal. That being said, I also believe in personal responsibility. The two are not mutually exclusive.

It is important to remember that any progressive social issue, from the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, pure food and drug acts, banking regulations, rural electrification and Social Security through Medicare, civil rights laws, and environmental rules, have been put forward through a liberal agenda. These have served to make the United States a fairer, more inclusive society and in my opinion, a better place to live.

The conservative response to any of these ideas is predictable and time-worn. Minorities were thought to be unable to exercise citizenship because they were somehow “unequipped.” Later it was “I should have the freedom to serve who I want.” Medicare (also called “socialized medicine”) was supposed to be the death-knell of the health care industry. Banking and environmental laws are reviled as governmental interference in the marketplace. And so on and so on. In response to all these scare tactics, it seems that the sky still hasn’t fallen.

As for Mr. Heinbauch’s view of the redistribution of wealth, the fact is that wealth is constantly being redistributed. More and more wealth is being redistributed to fewer and fewer people, creating an economic inequality that is unsustainable. For those who disagree with this idea, it is only necessary to look at the examples of France, Russia, and Germany for historical precedents. I’m sure that the French nobleman didn’t think that economic inequality didn’t matter, either, until he felt the blade on the back of his neck.

As a final point, I take exception to  the implication  that I don’t know enough to vote as I see fit. While I do consider my personal situation, the union doesn’t tell me how to vote. My folks remember the New Deal, and that’s why they tend to vote Democratic. I recall the Civil Rights movement, which made me a liberal. When I enter the voting booth, it’s just me and my conscience. There’s nobody else in there, not Democrats, Republicans, Fox News or MSNBC. I take my vote seriously, and cast my ballot for the candidates and issues that I believe will create a more just, compassionate, and sustainable state and country.

In freedom and fairness, 

Michael Bugenstein

 
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