By RUFUS G.W. SANDERS, Register columnist
Wow, did the piece I wrote on "Happy Days" make an impact! I have not received this much response to a column since I wrote about the selection of Sarah Palin for John McCain's running mate. Of course I do receive more mail whenever I bring up issues of right wing based politics.
I enjoyed reading Mr. Bohne's piece. I did feel the pain of his angst and anger, but that's not necessarily a bad thing; actually it could be the sign of a good writer. And at least he did not call me any bad names. I re-read my article just to make sure that I was correctly aware of his accusations and concerns with the piece. He said that the article was nothing but musings of what he called "politicism" (political racism). The word politicism I find interesting; but what's even more interesting is that I never once mention the word "racism" in the entire article.
It is correct that I never differentiated between political and social conservatism, although the purpose of the article was not to discuss types of conservatism. I am charged with making all conservatives look alike; God knows that could not be further from the truth. I am more than aware of the myriad ramifications that come from making all people look the same. My article was totally about political conservatism and the role, as well as the undeniable havoc that it has wreaked in this society and the need for a change.
Mr. Bohne, given my fundamental religious background, I consider myself, as you do, somewhat a social conservative, but one who is pragmatic, compassionate, understanding of the total human condition and a practitioner of tolerance; something that is a must in any multi-cultural, multi-racial democratic society where state and church is separated.
I am glad you were able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and that you support charitable institutions, and that you have attained the American dream; but my article is about why so many millions of others have not been able to be what you have become.
It's not capitalism that I reject; it's capitalism that has gone awry. I agree with Mr. Bohne and others that capitalism has brought many Americans out of the depths of poverty, but it has also imprisoned psychologically and enslaved economically and socially millions of other Americans in the name of justice, equality and pursuit of the American dream.
And this point that you raise about redistribution of your wealth being a form of socialism -- well, what do you call the great American bail-out of financial institutions? Is that not some form of corporate socialism? While I see it as an evil thing that the banking community has manipulated the economy to this point, it is a necessary evil that we bail them out, because in a democracy we are all intricately intertwined. We all will need help before things get better.
It might be true that Republicans attempted to "tighten" mortgage rules back in 2003 and 2005, but these same conservatives allowed mega-banks to take advantage of the situation by making bad loans; thus decimating the housing and mortgage industry while they made millions. This is not only undeniable it is unarguable. Not only has banking profited, but so have other unregulated icons of capitalism such Mobil Oil, Raytheon and Halliburton, just to name a few.
Of course I know the new president, the so called "media darling," as you call him, can't alone turn this mess around.
All that I am saying is since conservative polices have helped to create this mess, what's wrong, Mr. Bohne, with trying something different?
Like the president said; "if you are headed for a cliff you've got to change directions."
Is that too broad of a request to make?