Letters to the Editor

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.

Women must unite to show they are ‘precious pearls’

Legendary country/pop singer Glen Campbell sang, “There oughta be a hall of fame for mammas, creation’s most unique and precious pearls. Heaven help us to remember that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Do you believe this sentiment? Does the U.S. justice system really provide for equal protection under the law for women? If so, then what compels women who have been sexually assaulted/abused/raped to fail to report the events to legal authorities? Further, what compels boys who have been abused by clergy/coaches/other perpetrators to struggle for years with a sense of betrayal/helplessness/unworthiness? Can a Congress comprised of predominantly white males take these troubling questions on and develop reasonable legal recourse for victims as well as better deterrents to these crimes? Are you ashamed of the way this Republican Congress (along with Donald Trump) is sending a subtle message to women: “Shut up. Stay in your place. Let American men continue treating you as sex trophies and prey for their desires?” Women must unite to turn the political/legal tide closer to equality. They can show that they are “precious pearls.” We must believe them when they come forth. A few will try to con. But, all need serious investigation of their claims. What man can reasonably choose to stand in the way of better protection for our “precious pearls?”

Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.

American economy is not exclusively capital

We have seen, read, and heard a lot of fuss lately about the precipitous dangers of Socialism undermining the American culture. We are rightfully leery of any extreme form of political governance, such as Communism, Fascism, or autocracies. But before we can the judge the influence of Socialism on our society, we need to understand that there are many versions of Socialism defined under the “Socialism” umbrella. On one end of the scale is Totalitarian Communism, a form of autocracy where self-serving political power is concentrated in small group of political leaders who manage the social and economic policies of a society with an iron hand. Stalinism is the foremost example of this form of Socialism. On the other far end of the Socialism spectrum is the Social Market Economy. This is the socioeconomic model most associated with European economies, and certain aspects of this model are supported by members from all American political parties. The Social Market Economy combines a free market capitalist economic system alongside social policies that establish both fair competition within the market and a welfare state. The Social Market Economy was designed to be a third way between laissez-faire economic liberalism and socialist economics. It was inspired by the tradition of Christian ethics. The Social Market Economy uses the organic means of a comprehensive economic policy support planning which can influence the economy, but specifically does not plan and guide production, the workforce, or sales. Effectively combining monetary, credit, trade, tax, customs, investment and social policies as well as other measures, this type of economic policy creates an economy that serves the welfare and needs of the entire population. The Social Market approach rejects the far left Socialist ideas of replacing private property and markets with social ownership and economic planning. The “social” element to the model instead refers to support for the provision of equal opportunity and protection of those unable to enter the free market labor force because of old-age, disability, or unemployment. These are, in fact, some of the guiding principals that has shaped the modern social contract between the Federal government and its constituents, the American people. The influence of the Social Market approach is illustrated by these examples: the GI Bill implemented at the end of WWII, which subsidized the cost of higher education for soldiers returning from the war; the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the equal protection of the laws; Social Security, a retirement system funded by American citizens and managed by the federal government; Federal regulations intended to limit the harmful pollution of our water and air by businesses, by local, state, and federal governments, and by individuals. The notion that capital economies and social economies are mutually exclusive and competing in a zero sum game is simply not true. Our American economy has been shaped by principles derived from both Capitalism and Socialism and we citizens are well served by the influences and judicious implementation of features from both systems. Fomenting fear and mistrust by spinning a view that these influences, from either side only serves to further divide and alienate whole segments of our political culture.

John Barry – Franklin, N.C.

Re-engage Iran with statesmanship and good will

Some of our allies, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (and others) do not echo Trump’s hard-line approach to Iran and show no interest in abandoning the 2015 multilateral nuclear accord several countries (including Iran) negotiated in good faith.  More power to those countries for resisting threatening appeals by the United States to use armed military action against Iran and for strongly condemning U.S. proposals to force another regime change. Europeans and Asians not only know history, they seem more attuned to wanting to learn from it. They correctly conclude the Iranian people do not want war with the west and, given a commonsensical choice, will likely advocate friendly alliances with the west. Unfortunately, President Trump, his incessant promotion of sanctions, his red-hot rhetoric together with continuous threats by national security advisor, John Bolton, only serves to widen and deepen the chasm that divides us.  Instead of pursuing these divisive tactics purposing to isolate Iran in a room with no doors, we should be joining our allies in extending the hand of friendship where we can, with the clear intent of bringing Iran into the global community as an ally, not an adversary. I believe in my heart this is possible because I know Iranian people.  Though I am not held in high regard by North Carolina educators, there was a time (albeit 45 plus years ago) I was respected and appreciated for my contribution and was afforded (by the Navy) the honor and privilege of assisting in the training of Iranian Naval instructors. On that basis I offer this opinion.  Instead of pursuing a regressive policy of economic sanctions which will only drive the Iranian leaders further from the global community and unnecessarily hurt the Iranian people in the process, may I suggest we join with our allies, honor the agreements already made, and re-engage the Iranians, not with threats and intimidation but with statesmanship and goodwill. Before finally making up your mind as to where you stand, consider the people and try to appreciate their world view, why they have it and what we in the west might do to encourage a more global cooperative spirit between our two nations. To understand the world view of Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei) and Iran’s President (Hassan Rouhani) it will be helpful to look at the history of U.S. intervention in Iran. In 1953 the Eisenhower administration helped engineer a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and Washington became the chief supporter of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s authoritarian regime, until its overthrow in 1979.  Opposition to the Shah went hand in hand with opposition to the United States and resulted in the adverse circumstances which exist today. Neither the Supreme Leader nor the Iranian President are anti-Western or anti-American nor do either of them believe that the U.S. and the west are responsible for all the Islamic world’s problems.  And, contrary to what you might think, neither the leaders nor the Iranian people are crazy, irrational, reckless zealots looking for an opportunity for aggression. However, negotiations with the west will be difficult and I’m sure, because of their deep-rooted and well-remembered experiences of the 1950s, gaining their trust will likely prove challenging to say the least. There is an opportunity for the international community and Iran to move toward peace and constructive friendship. We should seize this chance and try our level best to insure our own leaders do not destroy it.

David L. Snell – Franklin, N.C.

American history you may have missed

This letter is dedicated to my Democrat (D) friends, who, if they choose to remain (D)’s, I think should at least know about this 100-plus-year-long chapter in the party’s history. An estimated 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites died at the end of KKK ropes from 1882 to 1964. David Barton in his book “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White,” reveals that not only did the (D)s work hand-in-glove with the KKK for generations; they started the Klan and endorsed its mayhem. “Of all forms of violent intimidation, lynching was by far the most effective,” Barton said. “Republicans (R) led the efforts to pass federal anti-lynching laws and their platforms consistently called for a ban on lynching. (D)s blocked those bills and their platforms never did condemn lynchings.” “Though seldom reported today, historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was established by (D)s and that the Klan played a prominent role in the (D) Party,” says Barton. A 13-volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documents that fact. “The Klan terrorized blacks through murders and public floggings; relief was granted only if individuals promised not to vote for (R)s, and violation was punishable by death,” he said. Barton’s book outlines the (D)s aggressive pro-slavery agenda for generations leading up to the Civil War, and how that did not die with the Union victory. As the South was being rebuilt, votes in Congress showed their continuing pro-slavery philosophy. 3 years after Appomattox, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting blacks citizenship in the United States, came before Congress and 94 percent of (R)s endorsed it. “The records of Congress reveal that not one (D) voted for the 14th Amendment,” Barton wrote. “So the (D)s from both North and South were still refusing to recognize any rights of citizenship for black Americans.” He noted that SC Gov. Wade Hampton at the 1868 DNC inserted a clause in the party platform declaring the Congress’ civil rights laws were “unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void.” At that same convention Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the KKK, was honored for his leadership. Listed on the “History” page of the (D) party website are a number of accomplishments from 1792- 1832. Then it leaps over the Civil War to talk about the end of the 19th Century, William Jennings Bryan and women’s suffrage.”Why would (D)s skip their own history from 1848 to 1900?” Barton asked. A National Review article cites this 1866 comment from Gov. Oliver Morton (R, IN) condemning Ds for their racism: “Everyone who shoots down Negroes in the streets, burns Negro schoolhouses and meeting-houses, and murders women and children by the light of their own flaming dwellings calls himself a (D).” It also cited the 1856 criticism by U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner, (R), of pro-slavery (D)s. “Congressman Preston Brooks (D-S.C.) responded by grabbing a stick and beating Sumner unconscious in the Senate chamber. Disabled, Sumner could not resume his duties for 3 years.” The (D)s admitted on their website, it wasn’t until President Harry Truman that “(D)s began the fight to bring down the final barriers of race and gender.” Yet Truman’s efforts were largely unsuccessful because of his own (D) Party.” A 2005 National Review article said that in 1957, Dwight Eisenhower, (R), deployed the 82nd Airborne Division to desegregate the Little Rock, Ark., schools over the resistance of Gov. Orval Faubus (D). Eisenhower signed the GOP’s 1960 Civil Rights Act after it survived a five-day, five-hour filibuster by 18 Senate (D)s. Lyndon Johnson (D) signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act after former Klansman Robert Byrd’s 14-hour filibuster, and the votes of 22 other Senate (D)s, including Tennessee’s Al Gore Sr., failed to scuttle the plan. In 1960, Gov. Hugh White, (D, MS) had requested Billy Graham segregate his crusades, something Graham refused to do. “When Gov. George Timmerman (D, SC) learned Billy Graham had invited blacks to a Reformation Rally at the state Capitol, he was denied use of the facilities,” Barton wrote. The National Review noted that the (D)s’ “Klan-coddling” today is embodied in Byrd, (D, WV) who once wrote that, “The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in WV.” Bill Clinton, speaking at Byrd’s funeral, said, “We shouldn’t be too hard on Byrd for being a KKK member, because to get anywhere in the (D) Party, you had to be a member of the Klan.” By contrast, when former Klansman David Duke ran for Louisiana governor in 1991 as a (R), he was “scorned” by national GOP officials. Until 1935, every black federal legislator was (R), and it was (R)s who appointed the first black Air Force and Army 4-star generals, established Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday, and named the first black national security adviser and secretary of state. Former Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice has said: “The first (R) I knew was my father, and he is still the (R) I most admire. He joined our party because the (D)s in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The (R)s did. My father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I.” Barton said the first opponents of slavery and the chief advocates for racial equal rights were the churches. Religious leaders such as Quaker Anthony Benezet were the leading spokesmen against slavery, and evangelical leaders such as Presbyterian signer of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush were the founders of the nation’s first abolition societies. At the time of the Civil War, “the most obvious difference between the (R) and (D) parties was their stands on slavery,” Barton said. (R)s called for its abolition, while (D)s declared: “All efforts of the abolitionists, or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences and all such efforts have the inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people.” Barton interviewed a black pastor in Mississippi, who recalled his grandmother never “would let a (D) in the house, and he never knew why.” After a review of history, he understood.

Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.

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