Alibi V.19 No.17 • April 29-May 5, 2010 ››
Shunning Uncivil Behavior
[Re: Feature, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Liberal,” April 22-28] As a lifelong liberal Democrat, I do not understand why Maren Tarro attended a "tea party" rally, even to be with her father. My politics are a serious matter to me, as they apparently are to Ms. Tarro, so I would not participate in an activity that pokes scorn at my convictions. I am 94 and grew up during the Great Depression and World War II (in which I served). The Democratic Party, led by FDR, saved the civilized world in my mind. Attending a rally of anti-FDR zealots was therefore unthinkable, even though a genial uncle would have been glad to take me. (My parents shared my views.) While I take my politics seriously, I try to be civil to citizens of opposing views. But I shun uncivil behavior. Incidentally, most of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington, deplored the vandalism of the original Boston Tea Party.
Rush, Glenn, Sean et al
Maren, a very nice article [Feature, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Liberal,” April 22-28]. As a conservative, I too have family members that are my political opposites, and yes, more people need to know that honest, caring conversations between sincere people of any persuasion are both possible and beneficial.
In that spirit, I wish to challenge one assumption you seem to make, that tea partiers and conservatives in general are all following a template designed for them by the conservative talking heads. I challenge it because it is no more than a stereotype. I am a licensed attorney in Illinois. I was on Law Review. I have listened to a wide range of talking heads, read a large number of primary sources in legal, political and economic theory and still ended up a conservative.
So you see it is possible for people who do not rely on Rush, Glenn, Sean et al to reach the same conclusions they do. The talking heads are not the leaders. They are the press secretaries. They articulate loudly what others have quietly analyzed. They are the Paul Reveres. They see the signals and keep everyone informed. That’s a good thing.
But they did not invent the love of freedom and the fear of tyranny that gave birth to this country. And they did not invent the various tragic political experiments of the last century that would make any reasonable person tremble at the thought of an overly intrusive, ever expanding, self-infatuated government.
The fact is that the tea partiers’ rejection of the harshly government-centric policies of the current administration is rooted in an accurate and rational view of history and economics. It is wonderful that you now see tea partiers in a more human context, but I would ask you now to go one step further and believe that they have chosen their own thoughts and feelings about public policy as freely and intelligently as you have. That’s when the real conversation begins.
Illusions of Liberalism
[Re: Feature, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Liberal,” April 22-28] At 18 I was at Stanford during the hippy generation taking classes from a Black Panther and reading Mao's Little Red Book. By 30, all my illusions of liberalism were well gone, smacked down by reality. As an engineer, I know from feedback and control theory that liberalism is unstable, a positive feedback explosion. As a businessman, I can read balance sheets and see the liberal system leads to bankruptcy. As an amateur historian, I cannot site a country in the history of the world that has not followed liberal theory into a death spiral—starting with Rome, National Socialism (nazism), then look at the Soviet Union and China (which now have started to prosper by backing away from liberalism), etc.
What your dad knows, and I know, is that liberal theory cannot pay the bills, it is a Ponzi scheme—musical chairs where someone eventually gets left off the gravy train.
So, the only thing you liberals have is name-calling, claiming people like me are stupid sheep. But how does that work with me, a mechanical engineer from Stanford who has successful businesses and employs other people? I write books on a variety of subjects (currently one on Harry Reid, a couple novels, some technical books), so I guess you can't call me illiterate. Most of my tea party friends are business owners, they aren't homeless people jabbering to sock puppets about Marxist theory. How does your "they're all stupid" meme hold up when confronted with flesh and blood people instead of cardboard cutouts?
In short, when some of you grow up and have to keep a family together, your view of where money magically comes from will change and we will see you at tea parties too, but as supporters rather than condescending twerps.
[Re: Feature, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Liberal,” April 22-28] I especially appreciated the love and respect for your father that you maintained throughout, even if you don't happen to agree with his political position at the moment. As far as your observations of the proceedings went, you were not entirely unbiased, but much more so than most other admittedly liberal journalists are. Thanks!
Practice What You Preach
My wife and I live in Albuquerque City Council District 5, so I read with interest your interview with City Councilor Dan Lewis [News, “The Preacher Councilor,” April 15-21]. Councilor Lewis said, “You can have a very effective city councilor or elected official who is conservative, has a solid Christian faith, is compassionate, respectful of every person, fair, ethical and honest."
I do not doubt that he is a conservative, and I won’t question his religious faith. But Dan Lewis did not show the remaining qualities in his election campaign last year. Dan Lewis was not respectful towards the incumbent councilor Mike Cadigan. As the Alibi put it in its endorsement of Cadigan [Feature, “Alibi Election Guide,” Sept. 24-30, 2009], the Dan Lewis campaign “fueled perhaps the ugliest Council race this season." We were bombarded with negative attack ad flyers from Lewis, with accusations against Cadigan that were exaggerations at best and very nasty in tone. According to Cadigan, some of the allegations were outright false. I’ve lived here 19 years and cannot remember such a negative campaign in our district.
I did not always agree with Mike Cadigan’s stance on the issues, but overall he was a competent and very effective councilor who worked hard for our district. He was respected enough by his fellow city councilors to be elected Council President. If my memory is correct, Lewis refused to even debate him. Perhaps Pastor Lewis should practice what he preaches.
Enough Is Enough
I read a recently published letter to the editor about term limits for public elected officials [ “It’s Term Limits Time,” April 15-21], and I, like many concerned Americans, agree that an imposition of term limits is absolutely necessary to weed out the rampant corruption, abuses of power, conflicts of interest, and backdoor deals that continually plague and harm our society and welfare. In the midst of this growing dissent and disgust with the inexplicable actions of our public officials, each of us hardworking and taxpaying citizens of this great nation need to make a statement and say “enough is enough” by voting out all public officials and, in a sense, imposing our own term limits with no exceptions. From public school board members to public regulation commissioners; from city councilors to county commissioners; from mayors to governors; from state legislators to members of congress; from state senators to United States senators; and, of course, from judges to the executive chief. We cannot afford to continually witness the widespread transgressions and unethical actions of our public office officials going unpunished. Trust needs to be rebuilt with all public servant positions and the best way to start this process is by electing new faces into office which whom we share the same convictions and values, and sending on their way the numerous career politicians who have been fleecing America. So strong are my convictions, as shared by many, I am in the process of rolling out a website within the next couple of weeks to organize awareness about this very mission of wiping the slate clean with all public offices. Stay tuned.
Boy, your art director is HILARIOUS. I'm still laughing from that response [Letters, “Tiny Toons,” March 11-17]. I guess living in New York I was spoiled by quality and cool weekly papers like the New York Press and The Village Voice. Unlike the Alibi, I believe they listen to suggestions from their readers and try to improve their product. Oh well. At least I have options for my time and reading here in Albuquerque.
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