Hey Brian, stop whining and check your history

Editor’s note: the following is in response to a Brian Beckley column that appeared in the June 23 issue.

Brian, your column on your liberal free-thinking prompted me to write this letter. I have a couple of suggestions for you as a columnist, and I will try to be as succinct as possible.

First, stop your whining! You are supposed to be a columnist, right? As a columnist you have an opinion and not everyone is going to like it. Get used to it. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Second, substantiate your opinions with facts, not with other opinions. Let me give you a few examples.

You derided the two-party system with opinion. No studies, no facts, no data. The two-party system is actually much more representative of a broader range of viewpoints than other systems, such as the parliamentary system. In a parliamentary system it is much more prevalent to get minority parties leading a country than it is with a two-party system. The very trait that you espouse, compromise, is what makes the two-party system work. Each of us chooses the party which most represents our viewpoints. It does not mean we fit exactly into the box defined by the platform. We compromise.

None of us fit into a box. Each of us have an overall philosophy, but on individual issues we may vary. For example, I am a fiscal conservative. I believe in free enterprise. On the environmental, I am a slightly-left-of-center moderate. I believe in traditional marriage, but I also believe that gays should be allowed to defend their country, their freedoms, with service in the military. Within the conservative ranks there are quite a few (though not a majority, nor am I one) who are pro-choice. We choose our candidate as the one who most represents our views. We all compromise, Brian. By the way, this perspective of the two-party system was first taught to me by a college professor and constitutional attorney. He was a Democrat.

Another example of your failure to understand history, which by your own admission would align you with the Tea Party movement, is your understanding of the fight for civil rights. You end up labeled liberal because you follow their rhetoric and talking points. Here are the actual facts, and you can check them out.

The Republican Party was born out of the abolitionist movement, led by Abraham Lincoln and others who opposed slavery. Salmon Chase, who was a Republican leader, was nicknamed “Attorney General of Fugitive Slaves” for defending runaway slaves.

You may recall the runaway slave, Frederick Douglass, who was considered the Martin Luther King Jr. of the 19th century. He is quoted as having said, “The Republican Party is the ship and all else is the sea.”

After the Civil War, it was a Republican Congress that passed Civil Rights Acts along with three constitutional amendments: abolishing slavery, guaranteeing equal protection of the law and securing voting rights. This same Congress promoted the individual right to bear arms to include blacks in order to protect themselves from the Ku Klux Klan. It was the Democrats who supported the Ku Klux Klan.

In the area of women’s rights, Susan B. Anthony voted (albeit illegally) in 1872, a straight Republican ticket. The two African-American women who were co-founders of the NAACP were Ida Wells and Mary Terrell, both of them Republicans. The first black member of the House of Representatives was Republican. In fact, until around 1935, every black congressman was Republican.

In 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. The Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson passed the landmark Civil Rights Act only after Republicans introduced their own bill and overcame a Democratic filibuster. Eighty-nine percent of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act, a far greater percentage than the Democrats, who mustered a bare majority.

I have not even begun to touch on the facts, not the Democrat rhetoric, surrounding the Republican support of civil rights and the Democrats’ disdain for it. These are the facts, and you can check in the congressional records and other historical documents, which is what I would suggest you do before you spout your opinions as facts. If you quit mimicking the liberal talking points then perhaps you would not be labeled as one, if that is truly your desire.

You also imply that conservatives are opposed to everyone having access to healthcare, which is a lie. Conservatives, as with any other bill, want two key elements, protection of liberties and fiscal responsibility. This healthcare bill demonstrates neither.

Third, you seem to be afraid to align yourself with any particular group, yet your view, if you look at party platforms and philosophies, place you in agreement with liberals on most points. Are you ashamed of that?

For example, your “open border” policy has nothing to do with rights. It is pure lunacy and places you right in the middle of liberal extremist philosophy. Among the duties given to the government are to regulate immigration and to provide security to ourselves and our property. Check the Constitution if you doubt this. With our southern states under attack, people there are being murdered, property being violated and our government is failing to uphold its basic duties. Liberty is earned by the courage and blood of those who value it. With rights come responsibilities.

You also totally misconstrued the Republican demand for deregulation. It was deregulation, not “no regulation” and the concept was to allow free enterprise to be free to operate profitably. Profitable companies provide jobs, pay taxes, and improve people’s quality of life. The problem with the oil spill was not too many regulations, but a lack of enforcement by government of the regulations that are currently in place. However, the Obama administration wants more regulation and, in fact, is pushing forward with a financial reform bill which allows government to take over businesses, at their whim. If you want to see where this is going, look at Venezuela.

You further placed yourself well within the liberal camps with your unsubstantiated name-calling of people who boldly align themselves with the Tea Party. This is very typical of liberal bloggers. The Tea Party movement came out of a knowledge of history, an understanding of liberty and a desire to preserve our freedoms, and a willingness to get involved. I would challenge you to attempt to debate with, as you called him, the “ill-informed” Glen Beck. Your ignorance would explode to the surface almost immediately, as exemplified by your lack of facts in your columns, and the belief that you feel Patty Murray is doing a good job. If you need substantiation, check out her record on earmarks.

Finally, a last suggestion if you desire to continue as a columnist. Be concise. Your column was erratic and lacked form or even a theme, unless whining was your theme. If you even remotely thought that your column, whatever point it was attempting to make, would allay anyone’s criticism, you sorely missed that goal. Stay focused, be concise, state your opinion, check your facts, and if you did your work well, expect criticism and response. Then you will know you are doing a good job and you can leave it at that.

Dave Marks

Cumberland, Wash.


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