I have followed with interest, the letters of local citizens in the editorial section of the Sun Advocate for the 13 and a half years that my family has resided in Price. Lately, there has been a proliferation of negative letters regarding anything that their authors term 'liberal'.
I was raised in Utah, in a conservative, Republican family which included a self-employed father, and a mother who served as president of the Utah Women's Legislative Council of Utah during the 1960's and 1970's. I suppose most people would label that a 'conservative' upbringing. Actually, we were taught that all parties, whether deemed liberal, conservative or independent had worthy ideas. Labels are misleading in and of themselves. In our home, this opinion was considered the 'American way'. It is the right of all Americans to weigh any stance for its merits and to decide for themselves their opinion of it; and to voice or vote that opinion as they see fit. It is not treason, (as some ultra-conservatives insist), or 'Bush-bashing' if one disagrees with the policies of the current administration and voices that disagreement. It is, rather, every American citizens' right.
I would not label the framers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as either liberal or conservative, for they existed in a time that is foreign to us. I believe they crafted two undeniably significant documents that were meant to stand as 'living documents'. That is, that these works can be amended and defined to reflect the desires, times and beliefs of the American people as they progress over time. I also believe that this was their intention in forming a democracy; making change possible by the vote of the majority. Remember, these men who wrote, "...that all men are created equal..." owned slaves at the time.
Since 1776, 1 am most grateful that more 'liberal' times and beliefs have allowed the vote to be extended to people of color, and even to women. On this basis, I do not agree that George W. Bush is my duly elected president, because no matter how you 'spin' it, he did not receive the majority vote in 2000.
Nor do I agree that the media of the United States is run entirely by 'liberals'.
There are members of the White House press corps who state that if they do not ask the 'right' questions, they are ignored. I have yet to see a major media network cancel a mini-series about any other political figure than Ronald Reagan, because it "was unflattering". And yes, both the content of what is viewed on television and in movie theaters is much more violent and suggestive than what I viewed as a child, but that is where parental responsibility and the off-switch on the television, the DVD player, or the computer comes into play. Being a parent has never been an easy or part-time job before, and it certainly isn't today.
When a candidate runs for the highest office in our country, and states his party is the party which will return "honesty and integrity to the White House", he is inviting the American people to judge both he and his party on these values. So .... did Bill Clinton lie while president of the United States? Absolutely. And how many American young men and women died as a direct result of that lie? Zero. Did Clinton or any of his White House staff ever leak the identity of a CIA operative in a snit of revenge because someone disagreed with his opinion? Absolutely not. Has George W. Bush ever lied while president of the United States? Absolutely. And over 500 young Americans, besides allies from other countries, have died because of it. I have a nephew serving in Baghdad, and hope to have him safely home in March, so please do not accuse me of not supporting our troops. What I do not support are the lies that were told to get them there.
So where does that leave us now? Personally, now that I know America no longer has the luxury of a national tax credit, but rather a mounting tax debt; that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and probably never were; that the guy in charge knew there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and the tragedy of 9-11; and in order to fill the manpower necessary to achieve democracy in Iraq may require reinstating the draft, I believe that leaves us in a terrible position for the future.
The upcoming elections of 2004 give us the opportunity to make a change in leadership, or continue on as we are doing, should we decide to. We owe it to ourselves and our posterity to become aware and informed, (hopefully with the truth), and then vote this fall for those we believe in. Just as hopefully, the better informed we become, the better choice we will make this November regarding the leadership of this country.