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.
‘Democratic Socialism’ explained
As I read some of the letters to the editor published over the last few months, it occurred to me that some writers may have confused readers with the fast and loose use of various political, governmental and economic terms. I am certainly no political scientist, but I am confident that I can back up some basic statements, such as:
1. The word “Socialism,” as in “Democratic Socialism,” is not synonymous with dictatorship or authoritarianism. Most of the Western world and some countries even in Africa have a form of democratic socialistic government. This includes France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and many others. Citizens generally have personal freedoms similar to those we enjoy in the U.S.; they elect their representatives; their economic systems are heavily capitalistic. In addition, they generally outrank or closely compare to the U.S. in educational attainment, rank in the top of the “happiness” index based on many factors including low crime levels, and generally enjoy some form of universal health care. I haven’t heard anything about their liberal governments banning cheeseburgers (in fact, McDonalds is alive and well in most), and I haven’t noticed mass emigration from those countries to the U.S.
2. Communism and Socialism are not synonymous, either. In fact, there are very few examples of pure Communism in the world today. China, for example, is the largest communist country but relies heavily on capitalism to achieve its economic goals. Although its citizens do not even approach the level of freedom that we enjoy here in the U.S., China has a rising middle class with disposable income. Most people have the ability to travel freely as tourists, as anyone who has traveled to Europe recently can attest to, based on the observation of buses full of Chinese citizens wanting to experience the same sites that we visit.
3. We should not forget that the U.S. also has programs that are considered socialistic, mainly Social Security and Medicare. I, for one, am so grateful for these two programs and will fight tooth and nail to keep them. No matter how hard many have worked during their lives, they have been unable to amass enough wealth to see them through retirement. Some of them never earned enough money to save sufficient funds to live on until death; some have made good money and saved for retirement, only to see that nest egg quickly depleted by economic downturns, medical catastrophes, or just plain bad luck. How wonderful that everyone pays into a fund that puts a safety net under us. We pay taxes for social programs and infrastructure that benefit the common good and make our country a better place for all of us. And there are ways to protect these programs, or possibly even expand them, if we do some simple things like removing the income caps on paying into the social security system.
4. Please do not attempt to compare what might happen after the possible election of a Democrat in the U.S. to the situation in Venezuela. Venezuela, more akin to Russia than a Democratic Socialistic country, has an authoritarian oligarchical government that claims to have some Socialist programs, such as state-owned petroleum and other industries. Unfortunately, these programs do not serve the people. The power there, like Russia, is in the hands of a few thugs who are intent on keeping it and amassing personal wealth to the detriment of its citizens. There is not a single person running for the president of our country as a Democrat who has any aspirations to undermine our form of government with its three branches of government and the checks and balances that are inherent in it. To suggest otherwise is at best misleading and unfair.
I do agree with those letter writers who suggest that we choose our next president very carefully. We are at serious crossroads in many areas, and we should be sure our information sources are factual and not supporting a hidden political agenda. Our favorite talk show hosts and news channels may not be the most reliable sources for this data. Instead of relying on CNN or Fox News for all our information, maybe we should occasionally listen to NPR or BBC America, known for being more objective media. The internet can be helpful, but only if we understand who sponsors the information that comes across our screens.
I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. I am Unaffiliated (Independent). The terms Democrat and Republican are somewhat restrictive, serving mainly to get someone on a ballot and noticed enough to get elected rather than being indicative of what a person really stands for. Generalizing that “all Democrats believe or do this” or “all Republican believe or do this,” or “all liberals are this” or “all conservatives want that” is not helpful and simply isn’t true. We must judge any person who wishes to serve our country by his/her character, actions, and willingness to protect and serve all citizens for the common good.
Sandy Deakins – Otto, N.C.
Perjorative statements do not a case make
In a recent letter by David Snell, published [last week] in the MCN, he made several false, unsupported accusations and errors of fact.
First, the title alleged that senators chose to disregard the Constitution. He’s right. But it wasn’t the Republicans, as he implied. The Democrat senators voted to call more witnesses. This would have been over-stepping their bounds, because Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 says, “The House of Representatives … shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” The word “sole” as an adjective, means “only.” That limits the duties, such as calling witnesses, and establishing a rock-solid case proving a charge of treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors, to the House. The Senate’s role is also stated: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” (Article I, Section 3, Clause 6) Thus, the roles of both House and Senate are clearly delineated.
By the way, it was Adam Schiff, (D), who testified for President Trump, by lying about what the president said in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and not the president himself, as alleged by Mr. Snell. Adam Schiff was as surprised as anyone, when President Trump released the transcript, which was witnessed by many others who were actually on the call with the two presidents. Read it! President Zelensky also stated several times that he was under no pressure from President Trump, and that he didn’t even know that the aid to Ukraine had been delayed at the time of the call (the absolute right and responsibility of any president).
Name-calling and defamation of character do not make a case. Facts do. Mr. Snell should stick with those. He also needs to establish that he is more qualified than Alan Dershowitz (a Democrat), and a former professor of law at Harvard, before he uses harsh adjectives and pejorative statements to attempt to marginalize Dershowitz’ testimony.
I watched most of the impeachment proceedings. I found the arguments by Jay Sekulow and many others defending the president to be thoroughly convincing. It seemed to me to be a partisan attack from the git-go.
The House Democrats held secret meetings in a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) in the basement of the Congress building. Republicans were denied access. The president was denied the right of every U.S. citizen to face his accuser. What were the Dems trying to hide? Was it the fact that they had no treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors with which to charge the president? Or was it to hide the fact that the witnesses were not on the call with Zelensky, but were merely disgruntled former employees who had been, or would soon be, fired by the president (the absolute right of any president, for any reason)? Or was it because they didn’t want the Republicans to expose by cross-examination, the fact that the “whistleblower” was a CIA agent, and Schiff staffer, Eric Ciaramella, who had no right to anonymity, because he had no evidence to support his charges against the president?
Mr. Snell, like all of us, has a right to his own opinions. But no one has a right to their own facts. And we all need to admit when we are stating an opinion, and we should support even those with facts, not slurs.
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
We must be careful of altered weights
In ancient times as in today, we use measures and standards to determine values, weights and quantities. I remember a time when buying a pound of meat from a butcher, you made sure his thumb was not touching the scale. This would be a measure by a corrupt merchant to make an item appear heavier than it was. He redefined the measure to conform to his will.
Altered weights not only corrupt merchants but also society. When we change the meaning of God’s word, we are dealing with altered weights and false measures. We know everything has two sides, good- evil, life- death, God-Satan, male-female. We either believe the Bible is the living word of God or we don’t. We must be careful of altered weights. We must never change the truth to fit our will but rather change our will to fit the truth. We must never bend the word of God to fit our lifestyle but rather change our lifestyle to fit the word of God. We must be careful of false standards and false measurements. Second Timothy 4:3-4 says For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Mike Townsend – Franklin, N.C.
Why do we have racism?
Why do we have Racism? The reason we have racism is because the Evolutionists have convinced mankind that races are divided based upon the color of one’s skin.
Darwin made that quite clear in Chapter 6 of his book “The Descent of Man” where he wrote:
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will most certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world…The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro of Australia and the gorilla.”
For obvious reasons, another of Darwin’s books, commonly known only as “The Origin of Species,” is never referred to by its full title, “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.”
Compare that to what the word of God says in Genesis 9:18,19. Following the flood that destroyed all of mankind, the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, repopulated the world, “and of them was the whole world overspread.”
What does that tell us? It tells us that there is only one race, the human race and we are all related.
Unfortunately, our secular educational system teaches the evolutionary theory as fact without any definitive scientific proof, and over the years our secular society has begun to treat God’s word concerning our beginnings as myth.
I believe the separation within mankind is not based solely upon the “perceived” racial differences based upon skin color, but just as much upon culture, religious beliefs, creeds and ideology.
In that regard I believe the Church can be a very strong force in combating the beliefs and ideology of the secular world by exposing the false teachings of evolution and presenting the scientific evidence supporting the truth of God’s word.
God’s word tells us that in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth and according to the chronology of the Bible, He did it just a few thousand years ago. Man’s word tells us that in the beginning there was an extremely condensed state of matter that exploded, created perfect order and over billions of years, all plants, animals, and humans evolved. Which one is true? What does science tell us?
I have researched and studied this topic for the past 30 years and can state emphatically that scientific evidence supports God’s word.
Marshall ‘Buck’ Miller – Franklin, N.C.