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Letters to the editor

December 07, 2004

A big tent for reformed regressives


To the editor:

Blue (and believe me, we're blue) progressives may not be able to beat the red, Bible-thumping, gun-toting, value-touting regressives, but maybe we can include some, once enough of them have lost their jobs, their liberties (including a woman's right to choose), their health care, their unemployment compensation, their unaffordable prescription drugs, their Medicare, their Social Security and their children in an-uncalled-for war.

They, too, may begin to realize they've been hoodwinked by the current, greedy cabal and its unconscionable tax cuts for the rich, its concessions to big oil, timber, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, its reckless deficit, and its unpatriotic, long-term, economically catastrophic outsourcing of jobs.

More than 20 years ago, I wrote an article with the premise that fundamentalism, our own rigidly virulent breed included, is the greatest threat to the planet; it's one of the few times I've been prescient. Why can't progressives - the now, by default, godless immoral minority - throw back some of the philosophical musings of Jesus? Why can't we remind the holier-than-thou regressives of what Proverbs states about the difficulty of a rich man entering heaven, equating it to a camel - or is it the GOP elephant? - passing through the eye of a needle.

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Or later, the genuinely compassionate words of Jesus about taking care of the poor and the needy? Maybe we need to include Jesus, the secular version please, in his role as democratic humanist. One remnant from the hedonistic, kinder, gentler side of the '60s we can risk reviving is embracing all - fairness and decency for all.

It also takes us back to the wise enlightenment of our Founding Fathers, most of whom, lest we forget, were atheists or faint deists at best, but nearly all of whom professed separation of church and state, while institutionalizing religious tolerance for all.

Jeffersonian free love - another byproduct of the Founding Fathers, which had reached its heavenly zenith in the '60s - seems, in spite of germs, to run rampant, equally in both red and blue states. Regrettably, I have no anecdotal firsthand evidence.

Reportedly, however, Texas has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies and divorces, and Massachusetts has the lowest of each. Presumably, Dubya, in a rush to save us all, didn't have time to fix Texas first. From now on, I'm going to consider every Christian jihadist a prospective progressive. Some of them may soon come to object to immoral tax cuts for the rich, if not immoral invasions of our bedrooms.

My mantra, moving forward, is "Progressives for Tolerance and Fairness for All." If I run into John Ashcroft, the resigning - thank somebody's god - attorney general, who once insisted on smothering the bare-breasted statuary at the Justice Department in burkas, I'll babble in tongues and give him a big Assembly of God hug and welcome him into the big tent, under the big top, with "Progressives for Tolerance and Fairness for All."

Lawrence Angle Sr.
Hagerstown




No longer a peaceful nation


To the editor:

The "Pageant of Peace" was held on Thursday (Dec. 2) at the White House. The tree was lit, and holiday music filled the air. The message of peace and goodwill was everywhere. The sheer hypocrisy of this is almost overwhelming! The most war-mongering administration in American history holding a "pageant of peace" would be laughable if it weren't so blatantly evil.

This administration started an aggressive war against a nation that posed no threat to the United States, and had made no efforts to attack us. Have the American people forgotten about the non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Have we forgotten that, over a year ago, we were told, "Mission Accomplished!" and yet we are now sending thousands more troops to Iraq during the holidays?

Why do we send more troops when the mission has been accomplished? Why was November 2004 tied with April as the deadliest month for American troops in Iraq, if the mission was "accomplished" over a year ago?

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the absurd hypocrisy of the current administration. The extremist conservative movement that put it in office is consistently hypocritical in its agenda to impose its narrow-minded, unconstitutional ideals on the rest of the nation. They are all in favor of the states deciding the question of same-sex marriage; that is, until a state makes a decision the conservatives dislike (Massachusetts), and then they cry to the Supreme Court to intervene and attempt to write hatred and discrimination into the Constitution.

Maybe we need four more years of this overt hypocrisy to learn how utterly evil the outcome will be. Maybe in 2008 Americans will wake up and throw these hypocrites out of office. Until then, I'll be taking a lot of antacids; seeing our nation's historic values being destroyed makes me sick at my stomach.

Richard Clark
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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