To the editor:
My husband and I laughed at Bill’s “Lonely Leftist” letter to the editor of March 14.
Bill’s letter is a great demonstration of how so many conservatives tend to ignore facts, often resorting to logical fallacies, even though he does it in an amusing, self-deprecating way.
The first fallacy Bill resorts to is ad feminem, calling me the “Lonely Leftist.” I’m thinking about starting a blog with that title, although the Times’ letters often reveal that I am, by far, not the only liberal in Leavenworth, another catchy title.
Bill’s strength as a writer is his word play. He offers the logical fallacy that I did not define a republic correctly by offering a Red Herring stating that I really meant statism. Plato would disagree, although Plato waffled repeatedly over whether or not women who owned land should be allowed to vote. Whether Republicans like the definition or not, republics restrict some people’s rights to the benefit of those with money, land, and power.
Bill also repeats conservativism’s mantras, such as the lie that they want small government. What they want is small government for businesses. They want a free — unfettered by moral or ethical restrictions in the form of laws — enterprise system, so they can exploit anyone they want without legal repercussions. What they are working for is Big Brother Government, so that women cannot make choices about their own bodies nor get equal pay, so gays cannot marry, and so the earth can be used until it is unusable and uninhabitable.
He also chooses to ignore that “the left” is a champion for social values, such as marriage, morality, individual responsibility, and freedom. He ignores the fact that his Christian morals (I am assuming) are not all that moral when it denies people who are in love the right to ritually establish that union so that it is recognized and respected by society. He is not being Christ-like when he allows his party to remove safety nets for those who are less fortunate. Conservatives ignore individual freedoms repeatedly, wanting to limit the rights of many for trivial things.
While I know many conservatives and believe that many of them are nice people, I don’t know many who will actively stand up for the rights of people they do not know, unless it is unborn fetuses they value over the living, breathing women who carry them. Ironically, most unwanted pregnancies, thus abortions, can be eliminated by better birth control access, but many — the ultra conservatives Bill wonders about — do not even want to allow women to use birth control, let alone have access to medical abortions.
So I continue to find amusing the letters of people who claim to uphold morals and ethical behavior because they want to impose some random value they claim is Christian but have warped into reasons to discriminate against people they have decided not to like.
And people wonder why so many have left Christianity as their religion of choice.
Maybe it is because it is not flexible enough — as practiced by the Americans who call themselves conservatives — to factor in love and consideration of others. Because, if they truly practiced what Jesus preached, “go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21), they would not hold values that exhibit hate, distrust, resentment, and obvious biases against others whom they seek to control. Why do these conservatives not recognize that their views are a threat to our most basic American principle: freedom of the individual?
Bill ended his letter accusing me of being deluded, not realizing that all his arguments demonstrate a desire to attack any views that are open-minded, open-hearted, and democratic, preferring to demonize people who see value in social programs that make a nation stronger, instead of demoralizing and impoverishing people in an effort to make a few wealthier.
Ruth J. Heflin
Letter: A counterpoint from the 'Lonely Leftist'
To the editor: