Letter to the editor
Character matters, as does common good
A rebuttal is required to your editorial, “Liberty or Enslavement” (that ran Oct. 22 in the East County Observer).
Your first point: Put aside the personalities of the two candidates.
I absolutely disagree. The most important factor is the character of the candidate.
Joe Biden has held public office for 47 years. No one, prior to this election, has ever questioned his moral character. On the other hand, there’s Donald Trump.
In addition to suggesting voters disregard the candidates’ moral fiber, you advise them to ignore all the campaign rhetoric and choose a party philosophy. In your opinion, that choice is between individual freedom or enslavement.
You endorse the Republican Party as standing for the principles of individual liberty. Then, in your unsupported opinion, you state the Democratic Party stands for subservience to the collective will of the people. You even go so far as to say the Democrats reject the principles of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, etc.
I can find no Democrat, lest the party, ever expressing a rejection of these documents. One should never confuse advocating for a principle that is not explicitly stated in these documents with the rejection of those documents.
Further, you make the leap to likening the Democratic Party to a dictatorship. The only one who has said he may not accept the results of the election is Republican Donald J. Trump.
If a candidate’s moral character is not important, how should we determine for whom we should vote?
You suggest we look to each party’s platform. Really? These are purely self-serving, non-binding documents and are forgotten after the election. You describe the Republican’s platform as full of idealism based upon individual liberties, while you state the Democrat’s includes specifics you deem as Utopian, yet automatically attach a concern about who will pay for it.
Your endorsement of Donald Trump is ridiculous. His “platform” is clearly all about him. You state that Joe Biden stands for “enslaving the Americans to how the elites want and demand how you live.” This is quite an unsubstantiated leap.
You go on to say that to have social and economic equality, the government is going to have to force more equal outcomes, which is in conflict of the constitutional right of equal protection of the law. This constitutional argument is novel, appearing only in your imagination. What you are stating is that every social program that has ever been enacted, including food stamps, is unconstitutional.
Further, you state it is unconstitutional for the government to tax its citizens to pay for these programs. Fortunately, that issue has already been decided, and that decision is contrary to what you believe.
What you are really saying is that even if these programs are desirable, don’t ask me to pay for them. What’s mine is mine, and no one is entitled to any of it, regardless of whether I earned it, inherited it or married into it.
Now I turn to your discussion of the COVID-19 virus and the differences in philosophies.
You condemn elected officials for taking measures to protect the community, which in your opinion were at the expense of individual liberties. You say the results were devastating. Once again it is not a question of individual liberties, it is a question of selfishness.
Yes, businesses suffered. Many of them and their employees were financially injured, but to the community as a whole, the science says taking these actions would have saved lives.
You don’t care what science says, instead people like you, principally motivated by the inconveniences they were suffering, voiced that these measures were an infringement on their liberties. And politicians, particularly here, caved to the mob.
Explain that to the families of those who died because we as a community didn’t take the measures to contain the virus. Yes, people lost money as a result of the virus, but more than 200,000 people lost their lives.
The government spent several trillion dollars to boost the economy. What it should be doing now is spending another two trillion to get us through this crisis. Whether in the long run the government incurred $3 trillion or $5 trillion in debt doesn’t make a difference. We are at war. A war against a virus that has taken the lives of far too many Americans.
Unfortunately, as we see numbers rising, we must understand that we are still at war. And like all wars, we have to make sacrifices. Giving up a perceived individual right and being required to wear a mask is a small price to pay for the better good of humanity.
So now we come down to it. Are we individuals operating alone in the world, or are we part of a society with the responsibility of helping our fellow human beings? You believe the former; I, the latter.
I suggest a more fitting title for your piece: “Self Interest or the Common Good.”