|Mr. Stolar might want to brush up on American history|
Letter to the Editor:
In a recent letter, Tim Stolar lets us know what he thinks about Barack Obama — that the president has done nothing for the country and, in fact, is attempting to “subjugate us.”
These are pretty strong words, so one would think Mr. Stolar would give us some specifics as to why he believes this to be true. Instead, we are presented with the usual (and quite predictable) Obama-as-Socialist tyrant rhetoric that has stood for analysis among many of the political right.Stolar offers up his unique version of history to hammer home that message, even citing the great Edmund Burke’s quote about historical memory. Certainly we should all learn from history, but accuracy and fairness need to be a part of that process. And Stolar’s thesis, that the Obama presidency (and his alone) is responsible for the rise of Big Government and a turn toward socialism, does not quite measure up to those standards.
“He has taken freedoms away . . . He has put us deeper in debt,” writes Stolar. But which freedoms, exactly? He does refer to the IRS, National Security Administration (NSA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as being “rampant with unbelievable power,”?but fails to mention that all of these agencies, and their powers, predate the Obama administration, and even his birth in the case of the IRS and NSA. The TSA, of course, was established by his predecessor. Executive overreach has been at least a potential problem for the entirety of the United States’ history, but Barack Obama is no Richard Nixon, or even George W. Bush.
Mr. Stolar wants us to believe that the national debt and accompanying budget deficits are somehow the sole responsibility of Barack Obama. This completely ignores the history of massive debt increase by both Ronald Reagan and, again, George W. Bush, as well as the reality of the Great Recession which any reputable economist would tell you necessitated greater government spending.
If more Americans are on welfare, it might just be because of the huge job losses suffered at the end of the Bush administration. But no such recognition is forthcoming — nor as well any workable definition of “welfare.” Also missing is an honest admission that current and future budget deficits are, under this administration, falling at the fastest rates in decades.
Moving on, one can only marvel at Stolar’s third-grade treatment of American history. He claims the founders and others came here to escape counties with a “socialist-totalitarian type of government.” It is obvious that, in keeping with the theme, he wants to label as the Socialist subjugator, while completely ignoring any historical reality. While there were certainly repressive monarchies and the remnants of a rigid feudal economic system, socialism, in its modern understanding, did not even exist in the 18th century. The same is true for the existence of the modern-era totalitarian state. His choice of wording reveals a clear ideological intent.
Keeping up with the “escape” theme, he then claims that “those who stayed in their home country were poor, murdered, terrorized and trampled upon.” He contrasts this with the standard idealized notion of an American utopia of unfettered freedom and opportunity.
While this may have been true for some (white males, for instance), it completely ignores a broad sweep of real American history, especially as it pertains to African slavery and Jim Crow, or the brutal treatment (even genocide) of Native Americans. And, of course, it took a constitutional amendment in the 20th century to recognize the right of women to vote.
Mr. Stolar might want to revisit Edmund Burk.
|Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:54 PM|