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Letters: Move to the center

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 22, 2013 4:52 a.m.

    "Extremism on the left and on the right is much the same. Salient in both are fear and hate of an "other" and detachment of reality."

    Fair enough.

    While the extremists on both sides may be the same, it seems as though the extremists on the right control the party. Those on the left are more of a fringe element.

    The extremes on the right will determine the candidate for the general. And they better be pure.

    They better raise their hand when asked if they would reject a 10 to 1 spending cuts to tax increase.

    They better be solidly anti tax, anti gay, anti government anti abortion anti Obama and pro gun. Any chink in the armor gets you removed from the dance, leaving only the Ted Cruz's and Rand Paul's standing.

    The left extremists do not control the party. The right extremists do.

    That is the difference.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 22, 2013 4:59 a.m.

    WASHINGTON -- Two prominent old-line Senate Republicans threw down the gauntlet to their more conversative colleagues on Tuesday, challenging them to stop obstructing the passage of a budget.

    Led by tea party Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), Republicans have been preventing the Senate from sending the budget it passed earlier this year to a conference committee with the House, at which major differences between the two chambers' budget bills would in theory be worked out. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been supportive of the blockade.

    But on Tuesday, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) blasted the obstruction in a Senate floor showdown with Paul.

    McCain went so far as to call his fellow senators' actions "bizarre."

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    May 22, 2013 6:07 a.m.

    Agreed. Our current political climate is such that it's often considered more important to score political points than to make actual progress. We need our elected officials to rediscover the fine art of compromise. There is such a thing as a greater good, and it's rarely to be found on the fringes of the political spectrum.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 22, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    Nice prose, but short on reality.

    The Federal Government was established to enable a Federation of States to survive in a hostile world, a world where Great Britain was still the supreme power - and would remain the supreme world power for well over another hundred years. Those little states joined together and pledged support to each other in case of attack. They pledged a willingness to treat each other with respect and to not take advantage of each other because of size or lack thereof. They formulated a few simple rules that would make all of that possible - then they enumerated those rules in their newly written Constitution.

    They reserved to themselves or to the people all authority and all power not specifically enumerated in that Constitution. They did not consider their new nation to be the peoples' nanny. They did not see their new nation as being responsible to feed, to clothe, to house or to educate the people. They left those responsibilities to the people. They certainly didn't lay off on that new nation the responsibility to collect taxes to pay for medical expenses for the people.

    Come on back, Democrats. Stop sliding away.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 22, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    Mike Richards, talk about being short on reality. England may have been dominant for the next hundred years but that only takes you to the late 1870's, and then modernity occurred. You are absolutely wrong when you infer or even say that Democrats want to be responsible for the feeding, housing, or even the education of the entire nation. What Democrats do realize is that the world, including our place in the world has changed in such a way that the various states can't function as a loosely knit organization of states doing their own thing regards health, education, commerce, and still survive and prosper. Modernity requires we work as one. Like it or not what happens in New York directly affects what happens in Utah.

    Here's the heart of my disagreement and most peoples disagreement with your vision of the world and this country, "They formulated a few simple rules that would make all of that possible". The rules they formulated were not simple but in fact broad and visionary, and the world they now govern is anything but simple. It is complicated, complex, and interdependent. Simple is a thing of the past, if it ever existed.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 22, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    I'm still trying to figure out why DN is publishing a constant string of op eds by Liljenquist.

    Is he being set up for another run at political office?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 22, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Discord for its' own sake is killing our democracy and government.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 22, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    pragmatistferlife,

    We have a disagreement on the mechanics used to change the relationship between the people and the government. The rules were listed. Government cannot change those rules unilaterally. The people cannot change those rules unilaterally. In order to change the duties of government, Congress must amend the Constitution and then 75% of the States must ratify those changes. That has not yet been done. Article 1, Section 8 is the acid test of what duties we have allowed Congress to tax us for. Until Congress amends the Constitution and 75% of the States ratify that amendment, the duties and authority of Congress stands as written.

    Article 5 of the Constitution clearly spells out the process. Anyone who tells us that his modified version of the Constitution takes precedence over the ratified version does understand either the fact that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land or that it cannot be changed by popular opinion or to suit political correctness.

    If you're not satisfied with the rules, then change them, but obey the rules required to make those changes.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 22, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    "If you're not satisfied with the rules, then change them, but obey the rules required to make those changes."

    The rules include Supreme Court rulings.

    You seem to want to completely disregard those when they don't suit you.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 22, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards – “If you're not satisfied with the rules, then change them, but obey the rules required to make those changes.”

    Your entire argument is premised on the notion that the Constitution fully explains itself and its applicability in all situations. Obviously this is false or we wouldn’t even need a Supreme Court.

    Based on some of your past comments, Obamacare sounds like the most hubristic unconstitutional law ever foisted on the American people, and yet the SC ruled in constitutional.

    So is the Constitution you want to preserve or only certain interpretations of it?

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 22, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    I have made a promise to myself to never argue with Mike Richards again. It does no good. His view of reality is so skewed that I can find no common ground on which to speak to him. So, to the letter . . .

    The presidential election in 2012 proved to the Republican Party that it cannot win with and extremist candidate or even one who bends so far to the right that he alienates the middle. If they try it in 2016, they will lose by a larger margin, because the country is moving away from the extreme right, particular younger people, women, and minorities.

    The Democrats already figured out a while ago that they cannot win with an extreme liberal candidate. And even though the far right has labeled President Obama an extreme liberal, his record proves otherwise. With few exceptions, he has tried to govern from the middle, even promoting a health-care plan that was largely a conservative creation and offering again and again to meet the GOP in the middle on budgetary matters.

    If the GOP can't figure this out, too bad. They can be replaced by a more realistic alternative.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    May 22, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Here is the question, "progress" into the 21st century or "conserve" your energy and remain in the 18th century? Grow collectively or remain mired in the gilded age when we had a class system that is rivaling us today? Some people just can't get over the fact that the ship sailed in 1800.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 22, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    ...They formulated a few simple rules that would make all of that possible....

    ======

    What a second, now I confused;
    This couldn't possible be the same Mike Richards who constantly pushes for the Government intrusion as to who you can live with, what you put in or take out your body, what you may or may not eat or drink, and who or what you must worship.

    Really? who is this?...

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    The median Democrat in the House has a DW-NOMINATE score of -.4 while the average Republican in Congress has a +.6 (0 is exactly moderate, -1 and +1 are absolute extremes for each). Usually the majority party has a score closer to 0 than the minority party since they hold more tossup seats but that isn't even the case this time. These scores (for both parties) are the most extreme they've been in 50 some odd years (the length of the dataset...).

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 22, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    And here we go again Mr. Richards. Article one section eight clearly allows the government to tax it's citizens for the general welfare of the nation. Thus my point "The rules they formulated were not simple but in fact broad and visionary", and to the point of JoeBlow, "The rules include Supreme Court rulings.". The Supreme Court has ruled many times on what constitutes the general welfare of the nation..including the ACA. I get it that you don't believe any of this but it's reality. Some how you choose to create your own sense of reality, which is your right. It just doesn't make it real.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 22, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" the extremists on the left do in fact control the Democrat party. How do you think they got the most left leaning Senator elected President?

    To "pragmatistferlife" Democrats have not been responsible for feeding the nation, nor have they been responsible for caring for the poor. They are responsible for creating a dependent class of citizen that cannot survive anymore without government assistance. They have aligned themselves with Progressives in both parties to make it difficult for people to rise up.

    To "ugottabkidn" collectivism doesn't work, it never has and never will. Ask yourself this. What is the goal that Progressives are trying to progress towards?

    Would you rather conserve your freedoms or progress towards collectivism?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 22, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    pragmatistferlife,

    Let's make an assuption that English is our native language and that both of us have been educated in schools where English was properly taught.

    Article 1, Section 8 is a single sentance. The clause that you seem to be referring to, "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers," is a dependant clause. i.e., it does not stand alone. It references the sixteen preceeding dependant clauses enumerated in Section 8. The words, "Gerneral Welfare" are not founf in Section 8.

    Some claim that "general Wlfare" mentioned in the preamble gives Congress blanket authority to do whatever it wants; why then is the military enumerated six times in Section 8? It is also found in the preamble. According to those "experts" there would have been no need to enumerate anything regarding the military in Section 8.

    The beauty of our freedom lies in the limited authority given by the people to a "national level" of government. Examples exist worldwide of the destruction to people and to nations when "rulers" rule with heavy hands over the people.

    Love and respect the Constitution, don't fight against it.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Yes, Jason is all about attention and the sour grape tea party needs new Bachman type leader.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    May 22, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Isn't the center line balance between extremes that the letter recommends really the straight and narrow way that while hard to follow is always the better path?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    "Would you rather conserve your freedoms or progress towards collectivism?"

    I consider that a faulty choice. For instance, I believe universal healthcare strengthens freedom by helping us with the right to life that we considered inalienable in the Declaration of Independence.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 22, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Personally --
    I'd like to see the GOP continue it's self-defeating suicidal leap off the uber-far-right-wing cliff of the political stage once and for all.

    Perhaps then a new Majority Moderate party ala Ronald Reagan's BIG tent party will emerge from the ashes.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    May 22, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    I enjoy reading the postings on the Constitution. One thing many strict constructionists such as Mike R. fail to agree with is found in Article 1 Section 8 and that is the "Necessary and Proper" clause. This wonderful clause basically gives our government the power to institute, for example, Obamacare. Now the SCOTUS has ruled on this and many are up in arms about the current status of Obamacare. Best way to deal with this? Vote out those who are in favor of it, which will never happen because we all want something for nothing, as long as the other guy pays for it. Wth that said SCOTUS has the hast word on all this, and I would much rather defer to them than to posters who have never spent a day in a constitutional law class, much less served in the judiciary.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 22, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    atl134
    Salt Lake City, UT
    @Redshirt1701
    "Would you rather conserve your freedoms or progress towards collectivism?"

    I consider that a faulty choice. For instance, I believe universal healthcare strengthens freedom by helping us with the right to life that we considered inalienable in the Declaration of Independence.

    1:48 p.m. May 22, 2013

    =========

    Agreed.

    When we have a Society of ever increaasing Haves, and Have Nots --
    being led by the 'Haves, and Have Mores' - ala, GW Bush

    We COLLECTIVELY loose our freedom to the Plutocracy or Oligarchy....
    Precisely and ironically what we fought the American Revolution over....and our fight for Freedom in the 1st place.
    Freedom and Justice for all - equally.

    having ALL things in common is not just Freedom and Justice,
    ALL things means, ALL things.

    Why do you fight against the purist of all God's Doctrines?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 22, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    To "atl134" you are wrong. Universal Healthcare destroys freedom because it forces (enslaves) others to pay for your healthcare. The right to life does not mean that your life will be prolonged through medical treatments. The right to life is only that the government cannot take your life on a whim.

    How does enslaving people through the tax code strengthen freedom? As the current system shows, government run healthcare is bloated, full of corruption, and easy to abuse. So taking reality into consideration, how does a wasteful government program strengthen freedom when it forces others to care for you?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 22, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 – “They are responsible for creating a dependent class of citizen that cannot survive anymore without government assistance.”

    You mean those lazy mooching senior citizens (who account for 2/3 of all entitlement spending)?

    @EJM and @atl134

    Well said!

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    May 22, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    The letter writer suggests that accommodation and inclusivity of diversity are key to progress: that either everyone matters or no one matters. I'm reminded of the words of John Stuart Mill who correctly observed that, "A party of order or stability and a party of progress or reform are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life."

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    May 22, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    @kent
    I think you have a good idea, it really is not a worthwhile endeavor. The reason there is no common ground is that he has abandoned any type of morality.

  • L White Springville, UT
    May 22, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    Well, don't we have some amusement today?

    If I hadn't been following the news for the past few weeks, I would have thought that it was the Republicans who were in hot water for pretending that we have a King instead of a President.

    Which party "owns" Benghazi?

    Which party "owns" the I.R.S. scandal?

    Which party "owns" the AP privacy scandal?

    Which party "owns" Fast and Furious?

    Which party made rediculous claims about a "video" causing terrorist attacks?

    Which party is twisting the words of the Constitution to include "everything" for the "general Welfare" and saying that the "foregoing" clause covers everything even though one poster showed them the errors of their ways?

    It's amusing to see that those on the left refuse to read the Constitution and that they refuse to admit that do not have a clue about what it really says. All they talk about is what they think it says.

    We can never move to the middle when one party wants a King who hands out crumbs while the other party wants freedom.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 8:03 p.m.

    To Mike R earlier today...

    "Article 5 of the Constitution clearly spells out the process. Anyone who tells us that his modified version of the Constitution takes precedence over the ratified version does understand either the fact that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land or that it cannot be changed by popular opinion or to suit political correctness."

    What then is the process to "create" an amendment if not *popular opinion*? Hmmmmmm!?

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    at Redshirt1701 3:22 p.m. May 22

    "Universal Healthcare destroys freedom because it forces (enslaves) others to pay for your healthcare."

    I rarely use my insurance so indirectly I'm paying for others & destroying freedom in the process.

    "How does enslaving people through the tax code strengthen freedom?"

    How about... providing for the common welfare & a chain is only as strong as the weakest link?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 22, 2013 10:35 p.m.

    To Mike Richards..if the list of duties granted the government were to be exclusive to the sixteen duties you reference why is there a preamble at all? What is it's purpose if not to broadly state and give a vision for the duties of the government? Also you are absolutely wrong about the section 8 saying anything about general welfare. It's in the first paragraph/preamble " The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States" By the way I'm only stating what has been reality for some 230 years. Yours is the outlier position.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 23, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    To "GK Willington" who says that you have to buy insurance (pre-ACA)? If you chose to not have insurance, you had that freedom, now you do not.

    As for providing "providing for the common welfare" how well did that work for the U.S.S.R.? They provided for the common welfare and how free were they?

    To "Tyler D" not just the seniors are dependent on government, you also have the millions on food stamps and other social welfare programs. How many seniors don't bother to save because they think that SS will be sufficient? Just look at the inner cities where women have multiple children, never get married, and live in a culture of poverty. Those used to be the exception in our culture, now they are the norm.

    So how has creating a dependent nation made us stronger, so far it has just put us deeper in debt and made us lazy.

  • Bill Anderson Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Isn't what matters most, isn't what we all want, simply to do the "right thing"; to do what is "best" for ..."the country", for "everyone", ...for me? The problematic condition of humanity is that we can never find unanimity around this "right thing." So, there is no way forward, there is no way to move at all, unless we learn to compromise and work together. Blame whomever or whatever you want for partisan gridlock there is no solution that does not recognize the imperative of compromise.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    May 23, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    Utah voters, please do not move to the center. Keep moving right -- maybe to the point creating a viable third party that further divides the conservative vote.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 23, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 – “…Those used to be the exception in our culture, now they are the norm.”

    Yes, there is some truth to what you’re saying, BUT, these issues did not suddenly appear on the scene when Obama took office (and was given the worst economy since 1932), nor do they drive the deficit in any significant way (with the exception of Medicaid).

    And yet the Right (for the last 4+ years) acts like this is all the case… why? I wish you guys could see from outside your information bubble how weak these arguments appear and the damage making them ad nauseam does to your credibility.

    If we want to fix the deficit we need to fix senior entitlements, period. Everything else is a red herring by comparison.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 23, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" let me get this right. You agree that we used to be nation of people that were self sufficient to some degree, and did not depend on government for much. Then, starting with the Progressive movement in the 1930's we started to allow the government to do for us, what we should do ourselves.

    Now, you say that I should get outside of my "information bubble" and go along with the crowd. You realize that it is the "information bubble" that conservatives use that is keeping us from turning into a socialist state that will eventually collapse like much of Europe is currently experiencing.

    Maybe, you need to put your feelings on the shelf, and take a long, hard, and cold logical look at the destruction that collectivism/progressivism brings. Yet it sounds great on paper, but the human element destroys it every time.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 23, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 – “Now, you say that I should get outside of my "information bubble" and go along with the crowd.”

    You misunderstood my point…

    You should argue what you believe, but there are ways to do so that are intellectually honest and show a grasp of perspective.

    The point that I and many others have made on these forums over the last 4+ years is that the Right seems to have lost this and in some cases gone completely off the rails (e.g., Glenn Beck) in ways that are just laughable that someone not in the bubble.

    The best examples of this would be the scores of rants that began with a vengeance the day Obama took office, many of which were bashing things that his predecessor did (debt, bailouts, government programs like prescription drug plan, etc…).

    Regarding perspective, the rants regarding our Debt that attack all the chicken feed stuff when the elephant in the room is senior entitlements could fill volumes.

    So argue conservatism… please! Just know that many of the ways it has been done lately do not reflect well on the intellectual capabilities of those making the arguments.