Adventures In Idiocy: The Worst Letter To The Editor, November 11, 2010

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The dumb letters to the editor in yesterday’s Democrat-Gazette were just your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety type, and none really warranted a post.  You knew THAT couldn’t last, however.  Now when men like Clyde Holloway of Searcy were out there to opine on evil big government, socialism, religious bases for governance, and FREEDOM!

Let’s fire up the Fiskatron 3000 and take this thing piece by piece.

Back the tea parties

No.

The greatest enemy of freedom has always been government.  Whenever government grows, freedom shrinks.  If government becomes dominant, freedom completely disappears.  Americans who care about their own freedom or who hope to pass it on to their children ought to be alarmed about the growth of our federal government.

What are we basing this idea of “government growth” on?  Because the raw numbers show that the number of federal employees now compared to 2000 has grown by about 1.6 million people, or just over 7.5%.  Over that same time period, the number of people in the United States has grown by 9.9% (est. 2010 census).  Meaning, of course, just in terms of “size” of government sector vis-a-vis public sector, the government is actually smaller.

In graphic form, here are the number of federal employees, by year, as a percentage of the general population:

This is the problem when people talk in terms of raw numbers rather than actual rate of growth; your answer is misleading at best and disingenuous at worst.

America is being victimized by socialism from within, as much an enemy as any foreign army to [sic] seeking to conquer our nation and enslave our people.  America needs better leaders in both houses of Congress and in the White House.  To get them there is a crying need for a reawaking [sic] of the American people.

Socialism again?  Have the Tea Partiers no other tropes that they can use?  At the very least, can one of them point to an example of true socialism under President Obama?  Because, if the answer is “Obamacare,” then he or she is also going to have to explain how a healthcare overhaul that left private insurers in place, did not have a public option, did not allow for the government to negotiate for lower drugs prices, etc., could possibly be considered “socialist.”  (A little tip: Not every reform or restructuring or imposition of rules amounts to “socialism.”)

We must elect people who take seriously their oath to God and to uphold the Constitution.  We must elect candidates who understand that America is a constitutional republic, not a democracy.  We must elect statesmen who understand the proper role of government, the origin of rights and individual responsibility that rights demand.

While it is true that the oath taken by Senators and Representatives ends with “So help me God,” a lawmaker may choose to affirm the oath rather than swear to it, in which case the last language is stricken per the Judiciary Act of 1789. Yes, that’s right — even as far back as 1789, lawmakers realized that the important part was upholding the Constitution. Part of that Constitution is Art. VI, cl. 3: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States” (emphasis added).

As for the rest of this paragraph,Mr. Holloway has not demonstrated that we are not currently electing people who fit his criteria.  I would argue, however,  that when you consider that the Tea Party nominated someone who did not know that the separation of church and state derives from the Constitution, this part of the letter becomes ironically hilarious.

Freedom isn’t free.  [Editor’s note: This is correct; freedom costs a buck o’five.] The enemy is at the gate.  How long will you stand aside?  Barack Obama and the Democrats have been in power almost two years and look how the government has grown.  They have taken over the auto industry, health care and banks.

Technically, the Democrats (other than Obama) have been in power for almost four years, in which time the government really hasn’t grown appreciably as shown above.  Even if we look instead at government spending as a percentage of GDP, where the percentage has grown almost 9% since 2006, the author’s point still fails because most of that “growth” was actually the result of what happens when you see a slowdown (and, in one year, a decline) in GDP growth.  Which is to say that you have to look at your denominator, too, and you can’t just point to the answer as proof of some sort of rampant, unchecked growth.

We need more people to participate at the tea parties.  Wake up people, now or lose your freedom.

*****

The Democrat-Gazette can only publish what it receives.  While I enjoy these posts, I would much rather see letters to the editor that were insightful and compelling rather than reactionary and irritating.  To that end, if you with to submit your own letter to the editor and give the Democrat-Gazette something else to publish, please click here.