Letters to the Editor Week 21

Neville was mislabeled

Hello Gary, You say Neville Chamberlain was a “Conservative.” Beingcalled a Conservative really doesn’t mean very much. Neville Chamberlain firstran for office as a “Liberal Unionist,” not a “Conservative.” You might noticesome of the legislation he passed while in power as Prime Minister includednationalization of coal deposits, housing subsidies, rent control and limitinghours people could work. Right or wrong these are not what we consider”Conservative” policies.

Calling Neville a Conservative is like calling Mitt Romney aConservative. The legislation he supports doesn’t back the label.
Brian Thompson

Oroville

Physician heal thyself

I’m thrilled that the one isolated part of my column of May 20ththat  Gazette Tribune editor Gary Devoncould find to dispute was my having said that “Quintessential liberal Neville Chamberlain has come tocharacterize the standard, liberal appeasement approach to our avowed  enemies.” Gary’s principal objection seemsto be that Chamberlain was a Tory.

Yet I never said he wasn’t. Both Gary and Chelan Mirror editor Les Bowengo to great lengths to remind everyone that party affiliation does not  necessarily define a liberal orconservative.

Les is frantic to excuse Democrats from responsibility for slavery andsegregation. It was those Democrats’ conservatism that was at fault, Les isvery careful to explain in his May 6th column.

Gary himself insists that “Nazis certainly weren’t socialists” justbecause that’s exactly what they called themselves. Gary also says “Democrats,like most Republicans, are rarely all liberal or all conservative.”

No argument, gentlemen, but why all of a sudden, Gary, must NevilleChamberlain have been the modern day equivalent to a conservative because hewas of something called a British Conservative Party in the 1930s?

If a Democrat can actually have been a conservative in the late 1800s,and an avowed Nazi socialist wasn’t a socialist in the 30s and 40s, then why,all of a sudden, can’t a 1930s British Conservative Party member have been”quintessentially liberal” in his appeasement approach to Hitler?

After all, using Gary’s own Wikipedia source: “Chamberlain made speechesin support of … Liberal Unionists. The Liberal Unionists were allied with the[British] Conservatives, and later merged with them under the name UnionistParty.” Does that sound conservative by today’s definition?

Rewriting history? Physician heal thyself.

Gary is right when he says “Americans are an independent lot and tryingto label them as liberal or conservative doesn’t work.”

That is precisely why I wrote last week that such “politicalBalkanization and the self-superior arrogance it engenders are destructive,”and we Americans “have not the luxury of … congratulating ourselves on who isin the cooler political gang.”

Bill Slusher

Okanogan

Dangerous statements

Thank you for pointing out the obvious in your opinion piece on May20th. Needless to say, Mr. Slusher isn’t the only one guilty of making falseclaims in the pages of the local paper. However, I wondered when reading hisstatement that Neville Chamberlain was a “Quintessential liberal” if what itrevealed was a simple lack of knowledge about the history of WWII, or if it hadmore to do with the myth that conservatives are somehow “tougher” when it cometo national security and matters of war, and he just made that assumption.

The former is somewhat benign, and just points to a need for Slusher toread a bit more, the latter is more troubling because that type ofmisinformation (propaganda) is one part of a “toxic cocktail” (Including fear)that can lead to the kind of shameful episode that occurred during the Bushadministration in which two decorated Democrat Vietnam War veterans – JohnKerry and Max Cleland – had their patriotism questioned by a virtual who’s whoof republican draft dodgers, including, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, GlennBeck, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove. Personally, as a vet myself, I found thatwhole episode repulsive, and wondered at the time how any US citizen(regardless of political beliefs) could possibly have the gall to dare to callinto question the loyalty of an American that chose to fight for his country.That’s the danger of statements like Mr. Slushers: Besides being stupid, theyperpetuate false stereotypes while simultaneously opening the door to the kindof arrogance that ultimately led to the colossal Republican failure in Iraq.

Greg James

Seattle

Joe

Joe Tea Partier is a colorful guy. He wakes in the morning in a homemade possible by a government insured loan and is serviced by a host ofgovernment entities – city, county, state and federal. He sleeps better knowinggovernment 24/7 protects him from enemies foreign and domestic. He eats a saferbreakfast using safer appliances, breathes cleaner air and drinks cleanerwater, all due to government. He watches the morning news made fair by publicairways, while his children go off to public schools and his wife to her publicjob providing the family with security and health care. One of Joe’s childrenis handicapped and receives additional public paid service. Joe is so abused bygovernment, he gets into his safety protected vehicle, drives on governmentroads protected by government police to a government park where he exerciseshis government protected right to protest government.

Though Joe is now less passionate about his Tea Party because it hasbeen increasingly joined by those with amnesia for what government became theprevious eight years and worse: his populist Tea Party’s central rationalmessage about taxation has been marginalized by the lunatic fringe with allmanner of bigoted slogans. Joe is further conflicted because his 401 retirementlargely evaporated due to lack of government [regulation] and his neighbor islosing his home for the
same lack. And Joe is now ambivalent about escalatingAmerican warfare and its part in our ballooning national debt.

Above all, Joe fears socialism, that it might destroy the gift of ourFounders. He broods about it all the way to his mailbox to retrieve his L&Icheck, his unemployment check, and he looks forward someday to Social Security.

Big government is not too big that benefits Joe.

Mark Lindstrom

Lake Wenatchee

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