Larry Anderson’s column demands a response.  Without citing a shred of evidence, he asserts that the Democratic Party created the coronovirus for “social engineering,” whatever that is. And that “lefties” are making the U.S. a satellite of China. This is almost a treatable level of paranoia, and it’s the real threat to democracy: oversimplification of complicated issues to demonize the opposition. The right consists of traditional conservatives that range from columnists George Will and Jonah Goldberg, to Trumpism, to neo nazis and the nutty Qanon: while the left ranges from liberal moderates like Joe Biden at one extreme, to progressives who adapt elements of socialism, to the Socialist Party. Both left and right have their lunatic fringe.

I’d like to hear something specific about what Larry believes. Here’s my manifesto. I suppose I’m a sample liberal moderate. I’m four-square with capitalism with regulation against exploitation. I believe that Social Security and Medicare must be supported, I’m for a graduated income tax, and I grumble that I pay more than many major corporations. According to The Center for Public Integrity web site, 60 of the largest American corporations paid no income taxes at all and many got refunds. Isn’t that corporate socialism? I think everyone should be equal before the law and have equal opportunity--and responsibility. I support the right to peacefully protest and the prosecution of those who riot and loot. I hate the “let ‘em die” philosophy and support an improved Affordable Care Act. I find abortion as birth control morally offensive, but as a person of the male persuasion I don’t believe I should dictate to the other sex. I’ll let God sort ‘em out.

I don’t wrap myself in the flag, but I am a patriot and love my country. Unlike our President I didn’t have bone spurs, and when my country called me in the draft, I served. It may sound corny, but I feared that my uncle, a man I admired deeply who rode a glider into France on D-Day in 1944 and fought through to the Battle of the Bulge where he was wounded, might be disappointed in me if I dodged the draft. And now the American neo nazis of the right are bringing this great evil that my uncle bravely fought back to life. Are they the “right” that Larry staunchly admires? So let’s hear some specific proposals from Larry on political  policy issues.

Like Larry, I fear the demise of democracy in our country, but not because of shadowy “leftie” boogie men. Democracy demands that we learn to accept one another even if we disagree and try to find compromise. Russians and Chinese do not have that privilege. American patriots have spoken to our current condition throughout history. Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Benjamin Franklin’s memorable words as the colonials prepared to break away from England resonate: “We must all hang together, or we will surely all hang separately.” And so it goes today.

––Carrol Fry

Maryville

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