Many of our Republican citizens display a deep distrust of government, especially the federal. Some are fearful of a loss of liberty, or other serious concerns, and Republican candidates have expounded on the “evils” of big government. They should debate not the size of government, but rather its merit in providing for the common good.
The Founding Fathers thought this concept to be so important that they included it in the preamble to the Constitution, saying among other things, that a central purpose of our country was “to promote the general welfare.” The concept of the common good is a basic tenet of Christianity and other religions as well, and the Founding Fathers recognized its validity and authority.
Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans stated several times that “trickle down government” never yields good economic results. Would they say that the Marshall Plan was an economic failure? That the GI Bill was a dismal educational flop? Or that the interstate highway system failed to encourage private enterprise over the entire country? Or that the space program did not spin off any business or manufacturing opportunities? Would they say that none of these “promoted the general welfare”?
So how to promote the common good? Certainly not by further cuts in programs helping poor and disadvantaged citizens, as proposed in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, to provide even more tax cuts for the rich, who supposedly are “job creators.” They have had 12 years since George W. Bush’s election to produce, but employment has steadily decreased during those years. The Republican contention that repealing the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy would damage the economy is pure baloney.
Fortunately, the American people are beginning to see the light, as evidenced by President Obama’s re-election and polls showing 60 percent of people favoring repeal of the Bush tax cuts to the rich. In spite of these facts, Speaker John Boehner persists in refusing Obama’s lead to do so, then inconsistently asks the president to lead. Apparently, Boehner wants the president to lead only where he wants him to go. Their stubborn refusal to acknowledge facts and their dim view of government (how come so many Republicans run for office?) have led to Republicans becoming the party of no.
In contrast, President Obama has recognized the partnership needed between private enterprise and government, with each contributing its unique ability. Such a concept fosters useful cooperation and responds to the Constitution’s preamble “to promote the general welfare.”
Henry Robert Menapace
What Christians are taught
The Nov. 13 letter headlined “Down the road to socialism” confused me. A lot of the letter I could not argue; the writer brings up some very valid points. However, he states that as a U.S. Army veteran and a Christian, he felt like just throwing up due to the results of the election. As an Army veteran, more power to him. I’m confused where the Christianity comes in.
If he’s a real Christian, he should be familiar with the gospels, in which Jesus Christ instructs us to “feed his sheep,” clothe the naked, heal the sick, etc. It appears that the things sending us “on the road to socialism,” as he puts it, are the very things that the writer, as a Christian, is being instructed by Christ to do.
Also, he wonders where the religious leaders are, and why they were so silent. Churches enjoy a tax-exempt status as nonprofit organizations. Clergy who get too vocal about pushing their own political opinions risk losing that tax-exempt status. Besides, the writer should not be quite so certain that the religious leaders are in complete agreement with his point of view. Whether he cares to admit it, there are perfectly valid opinions and points of view divergent from his.
Now that conservatives no longer have to worry about limiting Barack Obama to a one-term presidency, perhaps Washington can come together to help bring America back to one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Poor choice for state school board
The recent elections have been a proud time for me as an Ohioan. The numbers in which we came out to vote and exercise our democratic rights have inspired me. That said, I am extremely disappointed by the election of Sarah Fowler to the State Board of Education for District 7, which includes Summit County.
Fowler, 23, was home-schooled in a family with six children, opposes gay marriage, health care and other federal laws. She is unqualified, with no experience of the educational system and little experience with the world that many of us interact with everyday. Electing a home-schooled right-winger who even many conservatives would call extreme is precisely what our educational system does not need. We can assume that Fowler will be working to oppose the teaching of evolution and the availability of sexual education, and will push religious extremism further into our secular education system.
In Ohio, we face serious problems with our educational system. This is something that I’ve experienced as a pupil in the Ohio school system. One of Fowler’s voiced concerns — that we do not learn enough about the Founding Fathers — does not fall among my primary concerns. I learned about the Founding Fathers every year I attended Coventry High School in Summit County, but never learned about anything that happened after the year 1980.
While I agree with Fowler (and the Ohio Supreme Court) that schools are funded in an unconstitutional manner, my concern is not that taxes fund education, but rather that students in more prosperous areas are afforded a better education.
I believe the election of Fowler is a shining example of what can happen when we are distracted by national elections and forego educating ourselves about local races and local candidates. I hope that other constituents of the District 7 will help me to keep an eye on her and encourage her to act as a representative for her constituents, not the religious right.
Thank you, Wayne Daily of Barberton. I read with interest your Nov. 13 letter (“Down the road to socialism”). It said everything that I and many of my conservative friends believe. We hope our voices and views will be heard.
Alive and well
Obamacare is alive and well. Roe v. Wade is alive and well. Planned Parenthood is alive and well. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is alive and well. Gay rights are alive and slowly but surely becoming healthier. Racism is still alive and will remain so as long as very few will acknowledge it exists and was a factor in the vote.
It is outrageous that people waited in line up to eight hours to vote, but thank God they did. This election proved the Oval Office cannot be bought by the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, the Adelsons and other unknowns who spent millions of dollars attempting to purchase same. Never mind the millions spent to unseat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is also alive and well.
Predictable delays and confusion
The Nov. 6 election was a fiasco as far as the impact on voters is concerned. It didn’t have to be that way. The Beacon Journal has reported on the long lines, long waits to vote, confusion over which precinct to vote at and the breakdown of voting machines.
I experienced the same things as presiding judge at Cuyahoga Falls Precinct 5-A. The poll workers worked from before 6 a.m. until after 10 p.m., with no breaks, to try to process voters as fast as we could. We still had long lines of frustrated and upset voters.
Last April when I learned of the proposed reduction in the number of precincts, I wrote a letter to the editor describing and predicting the problems that would result. My fears were borne out on Election Day. Other people had similar concerns, which were expressed to the Summit County Board of Elections. When I received my post card asking if I would again serve as a poll worker, I hesitated to serve because I knew there would be big problems.
Some election officials act as if these problems are a surprise. Some blame the poll workers. This fiasco was entirely predictable. The major cause was the reduction in the number of precincts, which resulted in more voters at fewer precincts and confusion by voters about which precinct to vote at.
This reduction before a major election was rammed through by the Republican members of the board of elections, Alex Arshinkoff and Ray Weber, aided by their Secretary of State crony, Jon Husted. They bear most of the guilt for the problems. They should be held responsible for the problems.
Dennis P. Brinton