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My friend Gary Horton recently wrote a letter to the editor in which he questioned the premise of a column written by Gwendolyn Sims.

Ms. Sims looked at the question of whether the GOP would “take back America” from the failed liberal policies of the last eight years. Gary seemed to take exception to this thesis and labeled it as “regressive” and not conservative.

Regressive would apparently mean a return to the “bad old days” of our past, looking only at the more negative aspects such as poverty, lack of social services, and abortions performed with coat hangers.

Why don’t we just throw in slavery, child labor and the KKK as long as we are at it?

My goodness.

Liberals tend to define things in such narrow terms – sort of like a road that is traveled in only one direction. That is, toward more liberalism. To be “progressive” means to travel down the road with eyes locked on that goal.

I’ve always wondered what is at the end of that road? Is it the “worker’s paradise” that Marx and Lenin promised to the world? Is it the utopia mentioned in Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm?

You see this same thinking in Sacramento. Legislative leaders want to safeguard the “advances” made in the granting of rights and privileges to undocumented workers. Read: illegal aliens.

These legislators are buckling down and refusing to recognize that the national wind has changed. They are digging in their heels with regards to immigration policy.

Apparently, there is no “going backward” by returning California to respecting federal law.

Is there no realization that a large portion of the California state budget comes from the Feds? Is Sacramento willing to risk financial disaster over mere stubbornness?

If so, our elected representatives are failing all of us badly.

I have always envisioned politics as more of a pendulum than a one-way road. Sometimes, the pendulum swings to the left. Sometimes, it swings back toward the right. The folks in the middle often play a major role in how it swings.

Such is the case with the last election. I think many moderates were fed up with the liberal policies of the last administration and wanted more balance. The pendulum needed to come back to the right. Enter The Donald.

We see the cyclical nature of things in many areas. The business cycle tends to plow a furrow regardless of who or what is in the White House. Frankly, it seems this cycle is largely immune to politics. Unless, of course, there is a “stimulus.”

Observers of politics have seen cycles as well. Remember Reagan and the “moral majority” of the 1980s followed by the liberal policies of Clinton’s 1990s? We could go back in time and look at other administrations and cyclic policies – Johnson’s Great Society followed by a conservative Nixon in the early 1970s, for example.

It happens.

Liberals must learn that politics is not simply a one-way street from which, once traveled, there is no return. What if we discover that a basic tenant or policy of progressive thought is incorrect? Does that mean we can’t revisit that policy?

And if the goal is a truly socialist society, I would suggest that this is a very poor goal. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of socialism in general make me think that a single-minded push toward this end is not beneficial.

What about a more flexible way of thinking? Maybe liberals can say, “Hey, I’m not comfortable with your conservative idea but let’s give it a shot and see where it takes us.” As long as we agree that there can be some negotiation and compromise, maybe the pendulum swing back to the right will not be so bad.

The attitude that anything conservative is regressive can clearly be seen in Ms. Streep’s comments. She pointedly insinuated that if all the “outsiders” were eliminated, all we’d have to watch was football and mixed martial arts, a clear dig at all the conservative “deplorables” who elected Trump president.

Maybe liberals need to listen to conservatives and understand why the pendulum swing is not toxic and there may be benefits to our society. There are more people living in this nation than just East Coast and West Coast “progressives.”

Regression? I don’t think so. A balanced pendulum seems to be what we need.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and really hopes this thing is not a road – it’s really muddy right now with all the rain. He can be reached at

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Steve Lunetta
Raging, far-centrist conservative moderate with a slightly tongue-in-cheek humorist approach.
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  • Ron Bischof

    “Liberals must learn that politics is not simply a one-way street from which, once traveled, there is no return. What if we discover that a basic tenant or policy of progressive thought is incorrect? Does that mean we can’t revisit that policy?”

    Well stated, Steve. I consider the absolutism of Gary’s LTE and the posts of some commenters here decidedly unbalanced since the election.

  • Brian Baker

    Nicely done, Steve.

    As to California’s “immigration policy”, which is
    in direct conflict with federal law, isn’t it curious how, when Arizona tried
    to crack down in illegal aliens, the entire Dem/socialist coalition threw a
    major hissy-fit and sued that state in federal court?

    Evidently, they’re utterly oblivious to their own
    blatant hypocrisy.

  • Gil Mertz

    For the last eight years the left has whined that we blamed Obama for America’s problems from “day one” of his administration. In true hypocritical fashion, the left has been blaming Trump from the day he was ELECTED! In Gary Horton’s column he insists that America is already doomed and we have no future – as if Obama’s miserable policies and inactivity WAS the future.

    Now less than 10 days to begin dismantling Obama’s disgraceful legacy. Hallelujah!

  • Jim de Bree

    Another great thought provoking column. I always thought that there were 20-30 year cycles. The 1960’s and 70’s moved to the left. (Nixon may have been a Republican, but he was not a conservative.) Then we experienced the Reagan revolution which lasted from 1980 to 2006. The Clinton years were an anomaly, Had Perot not run, Bush 41 would have been re-elected. The 1994 election forced Clinton to the center.

    The election of Obama and Trump were both manifestations of dissatisfaction with the status quo. In order to remedy that dissatisfaction, politics has to do what Steve says, be more flexible and solve the problems we face. Special interests have controlled both parties which resulted in laws that removed controls from our financial system that caused the great recession and more recently, resulted in the dysfunction of our health care system.

    • Gil Mertz

      Here is again is where I have hope that Trump can resolve some of these issues because he is not a slave to special interests or party loyalty.

      • Ron Bischof

        I’m sanguine but will await action to follow rhetoric, Gil. Ultimately that will determine if Trump and the Congressional majorities are true agents of sorely needed change.

        • Gil Mertz

          Agreed Ron, but much of what can be accomplished is basic, common sense and not radical change. I also think we could see immediate fruit. One thing that will work in favor of the GOP is how the worst parts of Obamacare are now taking effect and people will start feeling the pain. Republicans will be seen as trying to help the situation and Democrats will be seen as prolonging the misery when they try to obstruct. Much like how the GOP was always blamed for shutting down the government despite trying to make principled reforms in spending. Sadly, politics is all about perception.

          • Jim de Bree

            It is interesting to note that Obamacare completely phased in for 2017, the year Obama leaves office. The things that were essential to it working, like the insurance collar (which was poorly designed) expired after 2016. If the Democrats controlled Congress and the Executive Branch they would scrap the ACA and replace it with a single payer system which is what they wanted to begin with.

          • Gil Mertz

            As you will recall, Jim, Obama kept pushing out the worst parts of his scheme by arbitrarily changing the law several times after it was passed in Congress. Even Obama KNEW how painful and unrealistic this was going to be for the American people so he purposely delayed it’s full implementation until he left office which makes it all the more egregious. Obama not only leaves his mess for someone else to clean up, but he will be quick to blame his successor for all the problems that he caused.

      • Jim de Bree

        I was encouraged by his press conference yesterday, but I am still very worried about whether he has the stability to do what he was elected to do. I thought he did a good job taking on CNN, which jumped the gun. The CNN journalist went too far in his attempt to ask an embarrassing question.

        I thought the attorney from Morgan Lewis did an outstanding job of explaining what Trump is going to do to distance himself from his economic interests. It is really impossible to unwind his stuff and the act of unwinding will in and of itself create conflicts.

        Also, I am extremely worried about what’s next after Obama Care. I am writing a series of columns about the state of health care in our country and why it is not working. There are no easy answers and the solution will likely be painful to many who now enjoy relatively inexpensive coverage.

        • Gil Mertz

          The pendulum definitely swings both ways with Trump, Jim. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. And yes, could you imagine Obama being treated with such disrespect as we saw with CNN yesterday to Trump? We will all be looking forward to your upcoming columns on the state of health care. We need to hear the truth about something so important and yet has become so politicized.