Stephen Maseda | Trifecta of Democratic Voices

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

We have now had a trifecta of “Democratic Voices” starting with the Josh Heath column, which Betty Arenson accurately described as a “fantasy.” However, it was a dark fantasy, which proposed that in order to achieve what Mr. Heath seeks, we need to destroy the Republican party. Not by convincing Americans about his proposals, but rather the destruction of the opposition. In idolizing John Kennedy, he recalls the Kennedy comment at his inaugural that we should not ask what our country can do for us but rather what we can do for our country. Even a moment’s reflection leads us inescapably to the conclusion that the left has turned this on its head. All they ask is what can our country do for them. I was 15 when Kennedy ran for president, and thought him a great man, albeit flawed as all men are. What I admired most about him was his push for equal rights, a push later embodied in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, both of which were passed with near-unanimous Republican support. 

This was followed by the Jonathan Kraut fantasy, again a dark fantasy assertedly attempting to determine if President Trump is a “fascist,” based not on history, not on the definition of fascism, but rather a psychological article about “fascist traits.” If Mr. Kraut had taken the time to look at history, he would have seen that fascism is a political/economic system, generally described as corporate socialism, where the state controls all industry and commerce and is led by an absolute dictator. Is Trump an absolute dictator? Mr. Kraut does not assert that he is, and no rational person could make such an assertion. 

During Trump’s presidency has the state taken over control of all industry and commerce? No, to the contrary: Through congressional action and executive orders, federal regulation of business and commerce has been rolled back. Indeed it is this deregulation to which Democrats, such as Mr. Kraut, object. You can argue with the rollback, but you cannot assert with a straight face that it constitutes a takeover of business and commerce. If anything, President Obama was the president who increased regulation of business and industry, who issued executive orders denying due process to citizens, and who unilaterally undertook to amend laws, and it is the left that supported these regulations/orders, affecting substantial portions of our people and our economy. 

Mr. Kraut’s screed is a not-so-thinly veiled political hit piece, which is clearly demonstrated by his item No. 4, that Trump’s China policies are being undertaken without regard to the desires of the people. Yet these policies are an attempt to stop China’s acknowledged abuses of international trade; they are supported by a large portion of the population and even by our European allies. Rather than engage in a discussion about the wisdom of the Trump China policy, Mr. Kraut decided to take the low road.

We finish with Mr. Gary Horton’s column on the recent gun violence in which he assaults gun owners and Republicans who support the Second Amendment. We as a society have problems, that is clear. We seemingly have been much better at tearing apart our traditional institutions, and less successful at replacing them with better institutions. Dealing with these issues will take serious discussion, recognizing the problems we all face as a liberal democracy as embodied in part in the Second, Fifth and 14th Amendments — the right to bear arms, the right to due process and the right to equal protection without regard to race, national origin, ethnicity or religion.

If we are to solve these problems, we must work together, not shout at or attack those who disagree with our preferred solutions. We have to have a discussion. We need to recognize that no one supports mass killing and everyone wants to find a solution. 

Finally, we need to recognize that to a great extent gun control is a local issue, as the different states have different populations, needs and problems. We need to talk with each other, we need to recognize the difficult nature of the issues, and we need to work together to find mutual solutions.  

Stephen Maseda


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