Aug 05 2016

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Letter to the Editor for 8-04-2016

Special to the PRESS


It is early in this election cycle but it is emerging as giving us the starkest choices in any election cycle since at least Kennedy and Nixon.  Obliviously I cannot make judgments on elections that happened before I have any conscious memory of them.  I can read about them, but we know history is the story the winners get to tell and that is much truer when I was in school half a century ago than it is today.

The great divide in US society today is between progressives and reactionaries,  People tend to be either progressive or reactionary in both their political views and their views on what are today called cultural issues.  This can be easily illustrated by a person’s views on local control versus state control depending on whether you are talking about sanctuary cities and abortion access or banning plastic bags and banning fracking.  Are you in favor of maximizing or restricting voter participation?  There can be no compromise between these two worldviews, one will win out and the other will lose.

I stand squarely in the progressives’ camp.  People should be able to do what they want to do but they should not be able to force their views on others.  This is the reason for the Bill of Rights; it is to inhibit both government and social groupings from imposing their point of view on others.

I look forward to the Republican party splitting into three parts after the November election, which they will lose.  There will be the adherents of the rich one percent, the Tea Party followers, and the Trump followers.  Once the reactionaries, and all Republicans are reactionaries to some degree, split in these three pieces we can work to eliminate them like the Republicans eliminated the Whig party in the nineteenth century.

It is understandable that people are not fond of Hillary Clinton.  I am not.  She is a neoliberal and an imperialist.  However it is much easier to deal with a neoliberal than a fascist like Donald Trump.  Hillary was pushed into a much more progressive place than she wanted to be in by Bernie Sanders supporters.  There are a lot of things about Obama’s presidency that I was not happy with and Hillary will be worse than he was because of her ties to financial elites and her imperialist tendencies.  Even given that, her presidency will be a lot easier to deal with than having a fascist in the White House.  We will have to use the same tactics, such as pushing for progressive issues and street actions, that were done during Obama’s presidency; we will just have to double down on them.  We can isolate the Democrat neoliberals and progressives can take over the party.  We will be fighting a civil war in the streets between neo-fascists and everyone else if Trump is elected.

After reactionary and neoliberal influence is eliminated and those ideologies no longer have any political power, a lot of neoliberals and some reactionaries will subscribe to more progressive ideas and we can discuss the exact form that political policies will take.  There will always be some people that are committed to racist, theocratic, and exclusivist ideas that want to impose their views on others via the force of government.  I have no problem with people holding whatever views they might want to hold; it is impossible to educate everyone because some people are so unsure of their ability to win over people with their arguments or so insecure about themselves than they want to oppress others.  Religious conservatives of all stripes are excellent examples of such people.  As long as they are in a position where they cannot exercise enough political power to enact laws; I just feel sorry for them.  Our Constitution gives them the right to hold and express their views but it does not give them the right to legislate them.  It is in fact prohibited.  The best summation I ever heard of this viewpoint is, “Are you opposed to abortion? Then don’t get one.  Are you opposed to gay marriage? Then marry someone of the opposite sex or stay single.  Are you opposed to firearms?  Then don’t buy one.”

The examples that I could cite are legion, but I’m sure I made my point.  Don’t support fascism and never vote for one.  That means don’t vote for Trump or anyone who advocates his views now or ever.

Walter Birdwell

Laguna Vista

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