Supreme Rulings

To the Editor:
Regarding the excitement of a continuing Conservative, Heritage Foundation-branded Supreme Court into the foreseeable future, it should be noted that the two most radical decisions in recent history, Bush v. Gore, which ruled, in essence, that an accurate count of the votes was not necessary, thus anointing George Bush as President, and Citizens United, which equated money with Free Speech, were made by a Conservative majority.  The first resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, our full, “Shock and Awe” swan dive into the Tar Baby affairs of the Middle East, while the second has enabled the rise of a Libertarian oligarchy in which the power of wealth reaps and wields the lion’s share of benefit and influence.  It will be hard to top these, but best fasten your seat belts now.

RP

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North-South

To the Editor:
One wishes Gen. Kelly had elaborated the compromise he thought possible to prevent the Civil War.  The  economy of the South, its “way of life”, was dependent on slave labor (and White Supremacy) while, in the North, the abolitionist movement was gaining religious and humanitarian impetus.  Compromise on either side was impossible on the issue.  When the South opted to secede, Lincoln acted initially to preserve the Union, with abolition coming only later during the war.  During Reconstruction, Democrats gained the edge in the South, Republicans in the North.  When Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act through Congress, the two parties switched regions, but the North-South divide continues to this day.  The unfortunate aspect of Kelly’s remark is its Trumpian nod to Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy.
Robert Porath

The Politics of Race

To the Editor:
It is becoming clear that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are continuing to count on the White backlash to the Obama years to ensure their political majority in 2018 and 2020, that and gerrymandering and voter suppression   Mike Pence’s media stunt of abruptly leaving the Indianapolis Colts game could have not been more blatant to that end, and the NFL  seems now so afraid of losing its fan base that it has joined in on the platform.  One has to wonder how Black athletes feel about being thrown under the bus and how might they react.  Steve Bannon may no longer have a position in the White House, but he is still dominating both the political narrative and the Republican agenda.

Robert Porath

The Dung Beetle Congress

To the Editor:
The Republican Party’s Repeal and Replace Obamacare efforts are rooted firmly in Social Darwinism, aka, the survival of only the fittest, as well as the Calvinist belief that being wealthy implied being in God’s favor, and the economic elitism of Ayn Rand. If you are poor, disabled, or otherwise unfortunate in life, your medical care is of no concern to the powers that be. Watching the slow determined slog of their attempts to push a bill to fruition through the halls of Congress brings to mind the image of a dung beetle resolutely rolling a ball of dung to its nesting place. One has to admire the dedicated and seemingly cheerful labor it applies to its task. That its prized possession has value to no one but itself is clearly not the beetle’s concern.
Robert Porath

Double Think

To the Editor:
    Considering the ease and frequency with which the Romney/Ryan ticket is able to tell bald-faced lies, one has to wonder at their level of self-awareness that they are openly lying.  With Paul Ryan, there is a sense that he tends to be a compulsive liar and that his level of Double-Think, his ability to hold equally in mind totally opposing ideas, is fairly impenetrable.  On the other hand, Mitt Romney seems fully aware of his lies and that he is committed to say whatever he has to in order to achieve his aims, essentially that his ends justify his means, not a bad way to become a multi-millionaire.  I suppose one could puzzle a bit over which form of lying is worse.  Double-Think runs strong through today’s American psyche, but, in Romney’s case, it should be pointed out that one’s means generally become one’s ends.
RP