Letters to the editor
I am writing in response to recent letters regarding the proposed plastic bag fees in our valley. I feel compelled to address some common misconceptions within those arguments – misconceptions that continue to polarize citizens and deter progress on important local issues.
First, one letter referred to a plastic bag fee as big government meddling in our lives. Too often, people characterize any proposed government regulation as a suppression of our freedom. The intentional and consistent use of “big government” as a dirty, fear-inducing term only works to fuel partisan bickering and perpetuate misconceptions.
As we all know, not all government regulation is detrimental. We as individuals cannot test our food for E. coli or establish and enforce mining regulations that keep workers safe. Such regulations do not make me feel suppressed. They simply provide necessary protection for citizens and the environment.
Our government has a role in protecting the beautiful area in which we live. A plastic bag fee is not an anti-freedom conspiracy; instead it is a conscious effort by our elected officials to help us protect the land we all care about.
Another detrimental fallacy used by many opponents is that the plastic bag fee is one proposed and supported only by liberal environmentalists. This type of stereotypical rhetoric only leads to ideological battles, resulting too often in political stalemates.
Since when is the idea of reducing waste a liberal or conservative platform? Not being wasteful is a concept we teach our children, and both Republicans and Democrats care about protecting the environment in which we live. Unfortunately, our common values get lost when manipulation and name-calling are inserted into political discourse.
It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce the 102 billion plastic bags that America uses annually. Many of these bags end up in rivers, forests, oceans and landfills.
By eliminating partisan attacks and looking instead at facts, a proposal to reduce plastic bags should be a simple, noncontroversial idea that would benefit us all.
What is the American dream? Is the American dream to stay mediocre, get your every need provided, never pursue a career or dream and just watch life go by?
Come on, people. The American dream was when our grandparents and great-grandparents came here to have the freedom to work and become something great, to earn a comfortable lifestyle for themselves.
In other words the American dream is capitalism. That’s right, capitalism, not socialism, not communism, but capitalism. If you believe in freedom and capitalism and the American dream, I ask you to look closely at the Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Herman Cain is not another politician. He is a businessman and a problem-solver. Herman Cain is the only candidate who can defeat Obama in 2012.
Mitt Romney is just another politician. Michele Bachmann is good but not good enough. Ron Paul will never get elected.
Herman Cain does not need a teleprompter. He knows what he believes and is a true problem-solver.
If we nominate Herman Cain to run for president, we will win. Barack Obama will be a one-term president, and we will get to work on fixing this country.
I was very impressed with the coverage of the Strawberry Days Parade, but do have one clarification I would like to make.
There was a wonderful photo in the June 19 edition of the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man riding on their float, but it is mistakenly identified as the Glenwood Medical Associates float. While we here at GMA proudly sponsored this float, the acknowledgement should go to Lil’ Tikes Early Learning Center in Silt.
The staff and the children did an awesome job of dedicating their time and work on the float, which took second place in its category. The kids and this excellent learning center deserve the credit for this float.
I just wanted to clarify this, and to again congratulate Nicole, George and all the staff and children at Lil’ Tikes.
Way to go!
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