2009-06-19 / Letters

The Elephant Charges

Dear Editor,

When will Joseph O'Malley realize that the race card game is a zero-sum proposition in America today? In this new post-racial era, it will only continue to cloud truth and true reconciliation with our nation's difficult past. Instead he continues his insidious and disrespectful assault on Republicans and their legacy in last week's issue of The Wave. Since the election of President Obama last November, readers of The Wave have been treated to Mr. O'Malley's divisive and breathless discourses on how Republicans are basically the Devil.

As turnabout is fair play, what follows is a partial history of the Democratic party's complicity and dogged efforts over 100 years to limit black American's rights in this great land, not in an attempt to smear today's Democrats, whom I respect for their opposition and disagree with on principle, but in an earnest effort to mitigate this ridiculous notion, of a "racist Republican party," routinely advanced by partisans as a method of keeping their constituency in line and hiding truth, attempting to take the moral high ground while failing to notice the overwhelming tide of shared culpability behind them.

He talks of the Republican "Southern Strategy"; this term was coined by one of Nixon's writer's, Patrick Buchanan, who in his own words described it as this: "...we would build our Republican party on a foundation of state's rights, human rights, small government and strong national defense... and leave it to the (Democratic Party of Wallace, Maddox and Connor) ...to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice." Recall Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor (D) letting loose dogs and fire hoses on black civil rights protestors. Recall Governor Lester Maddox (D) barring blacks from access to his restaurants with prominently displayed ax handles and remember Governor George Wallace (D) blocking school house doorways to black students. Mr. O'Malley, this is not "Republican drivel" as you termed it, it is the history I purposefully left out in my last letter in the expectation that we wouldn't have to drag ourselves through the ugly litany line by line. Shall I continue to go back in our history to 1868 and the 14th amendment to the Constitution which gave black Americans full civil rights and which not a single Democrat voted for?

Move forward to 1870 and the 15th amendment which gave black Americans full voting rights and which every single Democrat voted against. Move forward again to 1892 when the Democrats took control of the Senate, House and the White House and passed the "Repeal Act" allowing southern Democrats to pass the infamous Jim Crow laws which would continue for generations. Curiously enough, there sits in the Senate chambers today one last vestige of the Jim Crow Dixiecrats who formed the bulk of the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Robert Byrd (D), West Virginia, aged 92, who to his credit, now denounces his past membership in this organization.

There is more, but I will stop there in order to respond to Mr. O'Malley's next attack on Republicans, their stance on Gay Marriage, which he will be surprised to learn is exactly the same as President Barack Obama's: civil unions to afford all the benefits and rights of legal marriage, but the term "marriage" to remain the province of one man and one woman as based on over 5000 years of Judeo- Christian religious beliefs. I suggest you start your letter writing campaign to Mr.Obama immediately.

He states that Democrats have had to "clean up" Republican messes in the past, well what do you say about Democratic President's who have gotten us into wars? Wilson (D) with WWI, Roosevelt (D) with WWII, Truman (D) Korea, Kennedy (D) and Johnson (D) Vietnam, once again the blame game proves to be a double edged sword.

Letters As far as the economy, it seems to me the glass is still half empty, new unemployment numbers came out at 345,000 last month, unemployment continues to rise towards double digits, credit markets are still stagnant, GDP is expected to be negative again this quarter, GM has now gone bankrupt to re-emerge as a state owned enterprise and foreclosures continue to pile on. Four trillion has been spent

700 billion TARP + 3.4 trillion 2010 budget) and inflation has not yet even begun to show it's face, but it will if printing more money continues to dilute its value. Am I really lying, Mr. O'Malley? Medicare and Social Security have routinely been raided in the name of balancing budgets, this included President Clinton who left office with a much touted "surplus" that promptly went "poof" as the dotcom bubble burst and transformed into the Clinton recession beginning in March of 2001, before George Bush even set an economic policy. Partisans talk of a "230 billion" surplus left by Clinton, when in fact, there was no surplus at all but a governmental sleight of hand in which the federal public debt was paid down by the increasing revenues from taxpayers paying into the social security fund

surpluses from social security are mandated to be converted into government securities or intergovernmental holdings). In other words, the federal government took on less public debt (treasuries/bonds) by taking surplus Social Security/Medicare money and leaving IOUs in their place within the Social Security cookie jar. The national debt, which combines public and intergovernmental holdings, never went down. Check out the US Treasury web site if you don't believe me, under the Bureau of Public Debt. Or just go to downtown Manhattan and take a look at that famous national debt clock which has yet to go backwards, even during the Clinton years. His assertion that there was a Clinton surplus reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the Social Security and Medicare funds work.

What does he think will happen as 70 million baby boomers start drawing one thousand a month from social security and those intergovernmental holdings are called in? That's about 70 billion a month which has to be covered by a shrinking work force increasingly weaned on entitlements rather than a strong work ethic. While the average life expectancy of Americans today is well into the eighties, when Social Security was instituted it was closer to 65. How will one working American support 3 retired when it used to be 3 workers for every 1 retiree? They can't. Look at California's predicament with their pension system and New York is not far behind. You say that Republicans caused the current economic crisis by passing de-regulation in the '90s, I say that Republican attempts to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage spending were derailed by Democrats in congress in 2003 and 2005, the proof is in the congressional record. And don't even get me started on the proposed health care reform, which would take another thousand words.

You ask me what I would say to "...the children of the ghetto who want to better themselves...or to the middle class high school student who aspires to go to an Ivy-league college...", I would say this: strive for the best version of yourself, one which is not limited by a government or political party looking to grow on your fears but one which allows you to rise to your dreams without imposing myriad restrictions, it seems to have worked for generations of Americans, privileged and not. No Mr. O'Malley, what is required here is a more reasonable and inclusive approach, one which begins with an understanding of this new global age we are headed into together, one in which the subterfuge and patronizing attitudes of racial antagonism and retribution are replaced by the strength to forge a more direct and honest political discourse. An understanding of the limitations of big government and the unlimited potential of humanity not destined for the crushing mediocrity of being promised all the cheese you can eat and having your teeth pulled in due time. You may think that the Republican Party is made up of old white southern men, but this young American of Hispanic heritage is not so easily stereotyped.

HAROLD PAEZ

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That was a well thought out piece. the facts are right there and people still believe democrats are the fun-loving help people party. Get real people. Pull up your boots and get to work.


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