(post by nathan k)
This is some kind of letter-to-the-editor I stumbled across today. It’s generated some discussion in places I frequent, but I thought I’d bring it here for more discussion and a wider audience. Here it is in all its glory :
EDITOR: The Democratic Party is beginning to look more and more like the godless party. The ones who start all the trouble up if they don’t get their way. Those silly ads backed by Donna Seidel showing women whining because they can’t get their abortions are beyond belief. They are falsely targeting Jerry Petrowski. He never did what these ads claim.
Tom Barrett and Donna Seidel are pro-Planned Parenthood, they’re for late-term abortions and they’re big advocates of an explicit sexual education agenda in our public schools (pulling out all the stops). Do you want to see children indoctrinated with this filth?
Isn’t collective bargaining when union members can bargain for more and more money for themselves? That money has to come from somewhere, so the taxes will go even higher, hitting homeowners hardest. To me that seems like selfish greed.
There are a lot of us standing with our good governor who has done a terrific job, mostly balancing the budget. The other states are so afraid to take on the big unions and look at the mess they’re in. God bless the good teachers and other union people who are on Gov. Walker’s side. Vote Republican and get the decent, sensible party in.
Anyway, I figured I should write some sort of response, so here goes…
‘The Democratic Party is beginning to look more and more like the godless party.’
How can we have meaningful debate about government – or anything for that matter – when this is the view people have of their neighbors ? My grandmother, rest her soul, was a Democrat and had a very deep faith in her religion. She also had faith in the basic goodness of others, no matter their opinions…a very different mind-set than what we see in this letter.
If you want to talk about actual atheists / agnostics, it’s an untruthful fallacy that those with such beliefs are without morals. Oftentimes, such people are shown to be more compassionate and giving than others, because they believe their reward and redemption comes during and directly after performing such actions, and not in a second life.
‘The ones who start all the trouble up if they don’t get their way.’
Funny how Freedom of Speech and Protest is a God-given right…but only as long as we believe exactly what the right-wingers believe and nothing else. I better not see another Tea-Party protest should the Democrats win another election…
‘Those silly ads backed by Donna Seidel showing women whining because they can’t get their abortions are beyond belief.’
I struggled with a response to this for a long time. Does the author really believe people love abortions ? I can’t speak directly for Donna Seidel, but I can’t imagine that she does. The opinion of the author is so far out there that I have a hard time believing they could really see other human beings this way. I‘m not sure what else to say in response to this outrageousness, so I’ll let someone else elaborate in the comments if they can…
‘They are falsely targeting Jerry Petrowski. He never did what these ads claim.’
Although Petrowski sure seems like a nice guy, showing up at all those pancake breakfasts with normal folks, his voting record is clear and indisputable. He voted in lock-step with the Tea-Party legislature to make cuts to education, make cuts to health services and overturn the equal-pay protection, among other offenses against everyday working folks. Perhaps this nice guy was bullied into submission, or had his legislative career threatened by right-wing party leaders over these pieces of legislation…but even if that’s the case, he’s not much of a leader himself, or able to stand up for his working-class constituents…and thus not worthy of the office.
‘Tom Barrett and Donna Seidel are pro-Planned Parenthood…’
Planned Parenthood helps people with many kinds of services, including preventative health for low-income families. Oftentimes these agencies are the only local offices for such important services…and yet the extreme right-wing wants to do away with them, putting the health of low-income families at risk. A stunning move from a supposedly pro-family, pro-middle class Republican party.
Either way, the hypocrisy of this mind-set is ridiculous. I’ve heard it said that ‘these people shouldn’t have so many kids if they can’t feed them’ …and yet they shouldn’t have access to contraception ? Yeesh ! What a double-standard.
You can bet the super-rich will still have access to contraception and safe abortion procedures even if their legislation against them goes through.
‘…they’re for late-term abortions and they’re big advocates of an explicit sexual education agenda in our public schools (pulling out all the stops). Do you want to see children indoctrinated with this filth?’
Um…excuse me ? I didn’t see any porn in my high school health class…just drawn diagrams of reproductive systems and very helpful information on harmful STDs. How horrible that I went through this ‘filthy indoctrination’.
Oftentimes parents are embarrassed to bring up and discuss these topics with their kids. Getting the information in a group classroom setting, by trained professionals, is a proven way to effectively communicate the consequences and dangers of sexual activity.
‘Isn’t collective bargaining when union members can bargain for more and more money for themselves?’
Collective bargaining is when two parties attempt to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both sides; hence the word ‘collective’, meaning ‘together’. Corporations, in their dealings with one another, with their employees and with the government, seek what is beneficial to them…why shouldn’t the parties on the other side of the deal look to do the same ? Corporations are by definition an organization of individuals who band together for a common interest – why is it wrong that the people they employ look to do the same ? When has it ever been the ‘right’ thing to do to take advantage of others of lesser standing and influence ?
‘That money has to come from somewhere, so the taxes will go even higher, hitting homeowners hardest. To me that seems like selfish greed.’
Let’s look to the study by Wisconsin’s non-partisan budget review board, which states that fully two-thirds of corporations pay no net taxes, whether through loopholes or redundant tax breaks. Maybe we should look to have corporations, who benefit greatly from the infrastructure and security that government provides, pay their fair share before we look to take more from those who have less.
Contrary to what the far-right would have you believe, lower-class people do pay taxes. In fact, they pay a much higher percentage of their income toward taxes than those in other income brackets, through payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes through rent, leaving much less of their income for essentials and other purchases.
‘There are a lot of us standing with our good governor who has done a terrific job, mostly balancing the budget.’
Here I’ll defer to State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, who in addition to working hard for and standing up for the little people, has done her homework —
‘Those claims are not accurate. The [non-partisan] Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s recent analysis of the budget shows a remaining deficit of over a hundred million dollars going into the next budget year. Taxes on our lowest income families were increased $41 million by changes in the Earned Income Tax Credit, and taxes on homeowners were increased $8.1 million by changes in the Homestead Tax Credit. Gov. Walker also proposed the largest delay in debt payments in the history of Wisconsin–$468 million. The legislature cut that back, but still $323 million in debt payments were “kicked down the road.” Add this to the debt payments not made in the actual ‘budget repair bill’ and the total amount of outstanding principal due but not paid on General Fund debt is $528.3 million.’
And there you have it…more falsehoods from Walker and the Teapublicans…but some people just eat ‘em up.
‘The other states are so afraid to take on the big unions and look at the mess they’re in.’
Is that why Wisconsin has tanked in job growth since Walker took office ?
Now he says the rancor caused by the protests is to blame. I knew when the protests started they’d try to use this against us. I’m not going to try to explain this away – I’m going to own it. Damn right we’re mad. When you blame budget woes on working folks, and then look to balance those budget woes by cutting education, cutting health services, cutting government services that benefit those same hard-working folks, you’re going to piss a lot of people off. Hornets will go about doing the job nature gave them until you poke their nest…then you and everyone else will not want to be anywhere around after that. So who’s at fault – the hornets, or the jackass that poked the nest ? Take a good, hard look in the mirror, Walker and Company.
‘God bless the good teachers and other union people who are on Gov. Walker’s side. Vote Republican and get the decent, sensible party in.’
Government is about compromise and doing what’s best for all and not for a narrow few with all the money. Government is about listening to and cooperating with one another, working across aisles to meet those ends. It should be fair, just, open and transparent. The Tea-Party-led far-right Republican administration in this state has done the exact opposite of those things. God willing, the people of this state will come to their senses and reject these extreme and narrow ideologies and platforms, and instead elect leaders who will listen, cooperate, and show transparency in their actions…and most importantly, stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.