To the editor:

I have known Winfield Rose as a friend and colleague for over 20 years. For that reason, I cannot let his Jan. 15 op-ed “Yes, liberalism has changed” — one in his ongoing debate with Ken Wolf — pass without comment.

Rose makes his combative intent clear from the start when he compares the Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary definition of liberalism the with which Wolf opened is editorial to the serpent’s words tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden. Rose then proposes his own troubled description of liberalism. There are two varieties, he says — classical (good) and modern (bad).  

Rose identifies two sorts of classical liberalism — political and economic. Political liberalism, as seen in the writings of Locke and Montesquieu, arose in response to absolutism and found its fullest expression in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (which presumably includes all the amendments, although Rose does not say so explicitly). Economic liberalism (laissez-faire), Rose continues, was first seen in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and gained “practical expression in Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s three reports to Congress (1790-1791). Their essence was capitalism.”

I’ll give Rose a pass on his rather narrow view of what constitutes capitalism, but it is impossible give him a pass on his defamation of “modern liberalism.” Rose seems blinded by partisanship. In a rant that I was surprised to see in the Ledger & Times, Rose accuses “modern liberals” (apparently all without exception) of advocating “infanticide, late-term partial-birth abortion, … [and the] execution of babies.” And of course, “it is liberals who have turned city streets into filthy cesspools of used syringes, urine, and feces.”

Rose owes an apology to Ken Wolf, me, and to all of his MSU colleagues who may consider themselves liberal.

Bill Schell, Murray State history professor emeritus

Murray

To the editor:

Yes, liberalism IS change.

In his column in the Jan. 15 issue of the Ledger and Times, Mr. Rose spoke to his distaste for liberalism by comparing the political worldview of a majority of polled citizens of this great country to the devil. This alone is a tiresome conservative trope in an attempt to use biblical fear to close minds rather than open them and is frankly below the standard of this fine local paper regardless of the appearance of an editor’s note disclaimer.

That being said, he does raise a few good points about liberalism and conservativism. He notes that, “Today’s American conservatives are classical liberals,” which for the most part is generally true. Imagine, taking 200 years for the American conservative party to make this kind of progress. In his own words, he describes these values as having “provided more liberty, more prosperity and more happiness to more people for more time than any other political or economic system in history.” These were liberal values at the time!

I am not here to advocate for radical change in our political and economic systems. Just for the opportunity to examine ideas based on merit and free from the conjecture and hyperbole that runs rampant in both of our political parties. Let us truly discuss ideas before running to the media and name calling and even worse, intentionally obscuring the ideas with misinformation and sometimes outright lies. Let’s stop saying that liberals want to overturn an election because we don’t like the results and talk about the facts. Let’s stop saying that liberals want to take away all the guns and talk about the facts. Let’s stop talking about climate change as just a hoax and talk about the facts.

The main change that this liberal seeks is for us to slow down, just for a minute, and examine the facts. Then let’s try something that this country used to be known for and talk openly about new ideas and debate them on their merit. This is the only way our republic democracy can actually function as it was intended. A vigorous debate of the issues based on facts.

Clay Choate

Murray

To the editor:

Year after year, our Members of Congress are requested to support many issues. While Alzheimer’s disease is just one of the many causes they hear about, it’s personal to me. As someone who was involved as a caregiver to my great aunt, I am one of the millions of Americans who has experienced the emotional, physical and financial heartache that dementia has on an individual and their family. I know there are more ways to help families like mine, and that’s why I work with my elected officials as a volunteer advocate with the Alzheimer’s Association Kentucky/Indiana Chapter.

Thanks to my congressman, James Comer, 2019 will always be a year to remember in our fight to End Alzheimer’s. On December 20, 2019, due to the bipartisan support from our congressional leaders, a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $10 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was SIGNED INTO LAW! This HUGE milestone has brought our annual federal funding for Alzheimer’s research to $2.8 billion, a more than six-fold increase since 2011. For me, this is more than just a bill passing in Congress - these additional dollars offer real hope to families like mine, as we search for a cure for our nation’s most devastating and expensive disease.

This exciting news has left me feeling more energized and inspired to work with our elected officials in the year ahead, and I hope you feel the same! Please join me in thanking our Congressman for his leadership in prioritizing the eradication of Alzheimer’s in 2019. I look forward to continuing this momentum in 2020 with my Congressman and both of our U.S. senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. Happy New Year!

Lucas Bremer

Paducah

Editor’s note: Michael Basile sent this letter to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and submitted it to the Ledger & Times to run as a letter to the editor.

Dear Senator:

As Majority Leader of our Senate in this time of national trial I urge you to facilitate a fair and thorough process that fully reveals the truth behind our president’s alleged actions to enlist the aid of a foreign power to investigate a political rival.  The House of Representatives’ efforts to obtain relevant documents and to call witnesses has so far been flouted by the Executive Branch.  This refusal to comply with our nation’s Legislature’s requests for documentation and testimonies is unprecedented in American history. Failure to follow up on leads uncovered so far would further erode the Congress’s Constitutional authorities and responsibilities to review and, if necessary, curtail the Executive’s misconduct and potential subversion of our nation’s security.

This is the moment to heed the call for statesmanship and to oppose the Executive’s strategy to subvert and weaken our Congress. Submitting to this powerplay would have long term deleterious repercussions for Congress’s ability to curb an errant executive’s actions that may jeopardize our abilities as a free nation to counter ever more sophisticated and clandestine efforts to diminish our trust and general participation in the democratic process.

If your current plan to limit the Senate’s ability to examine additional evidence succeeds this time, what will Congress do to reassert its now abdicated authority to check miscreant conduct of the Executive in the future, irrespective of party? Of all current leaders of the American government at this critical juncture you are the one in a position to either ensure relevant evidence is disclosed and examined or suppressed.  This decision is in your hands, Senator. Will you choose to act as a statesman or rather further dilution of representative governance in this nation of ours?

 

Michael Basile

Murray

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