January 26, 2022

Not fooled by Thomas

I usually make a point of not disturbing my digestion by responding to the customary, reactionary nonsense featured on the OpEd page of the Bangor Daily News. Cal Thomas’ attack on the Democratic Party of Oct. 12 is so egregiously moronic, however, that my alimentary canal will just have to take its chances.

Thomas is crowing because many Democrats (in name only) have recently defected to the GOP, a phenomenon he claims has happened because “national Democratic leaders remain where many have been since the 1960s: favoring higher taxes and more spending, promoting narrow interests instead of the general welfare …”

If ever a party promoted narrow interests instead of the general welfare it is the party of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, et al. Was it, after all, the Democrats who deregulated sectors of the economy effectively destroying competition, who presided over the dismantling of our industial capacity, sent millions of manufacturing jobs to the Third World, ran up the national debt of unheard-of-levels and turned a blind eye to practical behavior by Wall Street and savings and loan institutions?

Thomas also opines that unless the Democratic Party “get(s) rid of the Pat Schroeders, Barney Franks, Dick Boniers and the Clintons … it will be indelibly identified with the far left.” What “far left” is Thomas referring to? Lamentably, we have ample evidence of an active and malicious far right in this country, but a far left?

Does Thomas believe that a choice between arch-conservatism and fascism is sufficient for the American people to involve themselves in the continuation of our experiment in self-government?

The evidence would suggest just the opposite: the Republicans’ support for maintaining the economic privilege of a small minority and the Republican obession with dismantling the social reforms of the last century have rendered the political participation of the average citizen perfunctory and meaningless: witness the participation of less than 40 percent of the enfranchised in the last general election. Apparently such trends do not concern the enthusiastic Thomas.

The Democratic Party will be reborn only after the defection of all those who do not relate to its core values, all those who regard government as a necessary evil instead of the ultimate protector of citizens’ rights.

Let Thomas crow, but I would refer him to the words of my first (and only) Republican hero, Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Richard Lamasney Machias

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