Letter to the Editor for April 7, 2022

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions as a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected based on content. Letters must be signed and contact information provided. Views expressed are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of publisher, editor or staff. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. 

Is American democracy doomed?

 Oswald Spengler, German historian/writer/philosopher, wrote a book entitled “The Decline of the West.” From this work, to a large extent, Spengler became known for his “Spengler curve.” Basically, the Spengler curve suggests that many human endeavors have an onset, growth stage and, lastly, their decline/death.

It is noteworthy that everything changes in nature without necessarily following a fast track along the Spengler curve. Most living things produce offspring to carry on the species even as individuals die off.

So, how do we view American democracy? Is it doomed? What might be the most damaging factor for our form of government? What might be the most important factor to assure that our democracy survives? Is our Constitution in need of revision(s) to meet the challenges brought about by modern technology and the expanded population?

American democracy is under attack. Are you willing to witness its death as some who participated in the January 6, 2020 insurrection say they were/are? Or are you sowing seeds of democracy for tomorrow? Without nourishment/practice we may indeed watch helplessly as our democracy dies.  

 Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.

We really should butt out of Ukrainian War

   Forgive me if I don’t share the general enthusiasm for the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian people are truly suffering and deserve our support with humanitarian assistance but the way to stop their suffering is to bring a negotiated peace quickly rather than trying to prolong the war with continued arms shipments. I look upon the war as a domestic situation in which we have become involved. The trouble is that this domestic situation involves another man, as it were. That other man is Uncle Sam, so we really should butt out. We say that we are defending democracy, but Ukraine is hardly a model democracy and we overturned their democratically elected leader in 2014 because we didn’t like the results. Funny how we hear talk of democracy and “our democracy” when the results please the elites that rule us but when things don’t go their way it’s because of Russian interference, insurrectionists, and white supremacy, yada, yada, yada. Oh, and voter suppression! Who can possibly take these people seriously?

We have a dangerous Commander-in-Chief whose loose lips could get the whole world in a nuclear war. We need to de-escalate and save us a lot of death and needless suffering. We need to acknowledge our meddling in Ukrainian affairs, using the corruption in the country to enrich people such as Hunter and Joe Biden. We have repeatedly turned a deaf ear to Russian concerns starting soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union by expanding NATO upon the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. I always thought that was a terrible move. It sure didn’t inspire trust and now we are seeing the outworking of a flawed decision. Instead of forging a closer relationship with Russia after the Cold War we have pushed her into the arms of China, our chief adversary. Our entire foreign policy establishment needs a complete overhaul in both personnel and philosophy. I’m ready to let Europe take care of Europe. If they want NATO, they can support it and fight for it. We need to pay more attention to our own house before we try to get everybody else’s house in order. We are being invaded at our southern border and democracy is being threatened here in the U.S. but we are being asked to ignore that and focus on the border and democracy of another country. As someone once said, “My God, this man cannot remain in power.”  

David Parker – Franklin, N.C.

Barbara McRae a beloved writer, woman

I have always loved researching and finding new facts and learning about people. There was one gracious lady, Barbara McRae, who had such vast knowledge of our Macon County and was willing to share her expertise. She found five different people with Scots/Irish roots who settled in Macon County.  

Thanks to my beloved writer, let me share this information.

Patrick Callahan, Indian trader at Cowee, hosted Thomas Griffiths in 1768 while Thomas was on an expedition to obtain the Cherokee Clay.  He also hosted William Bartram in 1775.  Bartram was described as “the old honest Hibernian” (i.e. Scotsman) He married a Cherokee woman and was much beloved by the Indians, according to Bartram.

Thomas Shepherd (1798-1880) and his wife Narcissa Welch (1800-1874) were among the earliest settlers of the Cowee Community.  Thomas, who was born in Scotland came to America with his parents.  They first settled in Pennsylvania, then moved to Wilkes County, N.C. Thomas and Mary were in Macon County by 1827. Thomas wrote his will on April 22, 1841, and died the following August, leaving a large family.  His estate included 34 slaves who were divided among his heirs.

Robert Love, who headed the party of surveyors who mapped old Macon County in 1820, in preparation of the first land sale, was a member of a prominent family who originated in Ulster, Ireland.  Other members of this family included Dillard Love – one of the richest and most interesting of the early settlers.

George Patton, born in Northern Ireland, 1 May 1769, married Mary Ann McDonnell, whose parents were also from Northern Ireland. They settled in Macon County in the early 1820s (Patton Valley). George got his start peddling goods and buying furs, feathers, indigo, and beeswax. 

William Morrison (1794-1865) came from Burke County, N.C. and settled in Oak Grove Community, about 1829. He was a descendant of James Morrison, who emigrated to Pennsylvania from North Ireland.

I would like to give Barbara McRae (unofficially) the title of Beloved Writer and Beloved Woman of Macon County

Merrilee Bordeaux

Taste of Scotland Society

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