I'll take Harry Mitchell's bait (Letters, "Taking a step back," Oct. 21, 2009, Gazette) and proclaim "damn right!" the country would be better off if some of the conservative voices he speaks of had been heard in the past. Mr. Mitchell was smart enough to know that many "folks" would read his letter and feel the same. It was quite apparent that he was trying to prevent a defense of conservative ideas by including segregation as a conservative voice that needed defending.
I, however, can defend valid conservative social ideas that are worth arguing today, without defending the obvious wrong that was segregation, which was a discussion of the past. Mr. Mitchell's attempt to label a defender of conservative ideas as racist by association is quite pathetic.
Mr. Mitchell's letter presented an alternate reality where there is no Social Security, Medicare, labor unions or minimum wage (I chose the ones that needed defending, leaving out segregation and child labor laws). Of course, being a social liberal, he tries to make this alternate reality seem terrible. What he presents is a fiction, and I could easily present an alternative that would show how well-off the nation would be under the same circumstances. Instead, I will present a few facts, actual reality where these programs do exist.
"Medicare and Social Security have unfunded liabilities of $106.8 trillion.
"Union membership is only 7.6 percent in the private sector, yet from 1989-2010, 11 of the top 20 political donors are unions for a total donation of more than $311 billion. That is a lot of political capital for a fraction of the population.
"Only about 1.5 percent of all workers are paid the minimum wage. Thanks to this "progressive" policy some of those who would work for less, mostly those younger than 25 and part-time workers, are currently making nothing.
Mr. Mitchell must bash conservatives in a fictional story because the statist ideas that he espouses are failing in reality. You might notice I didn't need to call him stupid, insinuate he is a racist, or make up a story to present those failures. Mr. Mitchell might should re-evaluate where the "vitriolic" voices are coming from.
"Jon Hill, Oklahoma City