Letter: Guess what's likely to end up killing us all?
There are plenty of candidates these days but my money is on the merger of religious extremists and Koch-style libertarian extremists. The religious extremists will vote for anyone who promises to pass laws that make their extremism the law of the land. They roar about genders, bathroom usage, sexual practices, contraceptives, Christmas celebration, other religions . anything that should be personal. Their concern for things like wages, employment, poverty, physical safety and the rights of people who hold different beliefs? None to speak of. The libertarians zealously — religiously, you might say — pursue the "government bad, business good" ideology that has done so much to destroy Kansas and Louisiana. That ideology, as pronounced by Ayn Rand, is zealously followed by our national Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and many, many other elected Republicans. The irony, of course, is that Ryan and many other Rand followers also give lip service to Christian beliefs, which Rand unequivocally rejected. Both the religious extremists and libertarian extremists couch their policies as the pursuit of freedom. The former claim that they want freedom for their people to follow their religious beliefs, no matter how much harm those beliefs cause to others, and regardless of whether their own beliefs trample on the beliefs of others. The latter claim that they want freedom from government interference with the individual. So in their well-funded minds and think tanks, it is a bad idea — and an infringement on "freedom" — for government to see to it that we, as a society, have:
- Adequate public transportation and decent public schools.
- Public mail service and libraries.
- Health care people can actually afford and use.
- Clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.
- Wages that allow working people to live decent lives.
In the long term, either of these extreme ideologies would be toxic. Married together in a political alliance — voting for each other, funding each other, pandering to each other — they are truly deadly. And you need look no further than our current federal government to see the marriage in action. Past experience is ignored, facts are ignored, science is ignored. Belief divorced from reason to believe does not end well.
— Lee Russ
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