Letter to the editor: Democracy or autocracy


To the editor:

Human belief has always existed across a spectrum. Some of us believe in flying saucers, chloroquine and a flat earth. But if our belief is to embrace real “truth” it must be based on fact and it must fit comfortably with a core set of accepted “truths” which finally define it.

For instance human belief(s) about how we should be governed. Our nation’s forefathers set down what they perceived of as their “truths” on governance in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution:  

  • That every human being has a right and duty to govern themselves.
  • That we have unalienable rights.
  • That among these are life, liberty and an unencumbered right to pursue our and our family’s happiness in that life we live, as long as we don’t impinge on our fellow human beings’ pursuit. And, by clear inference, the right and duty to assure the above are not impinged, distorted or destroyed.

A majority of us and through us, our system of governance to ensure those rights and further that pursuit of happiness; has strayed from that “North Star” a number of times over these 240 years since our nation’s inception. However, our efforts and the political groupings; “parties” we’ve created and utilized to implement that pursuit have mostly steered us forward on paths largely focused on achieving the more efficient and fair pursuit of our individual and mutual happiness.

However, in the last several decades, and most explicitly and egregiously in the last three plus years, one of our two major parties has moved far, far to the end of that political belief spectrum; to an increasing embrace of authoritarianism, to increasing attempts to disenfranchise, devalue and even imprison other of their fellow human beings, simply to pursue what they’ve been told is their goal of “happiness”.

Will outlawing other women’s right to abortion or even contraception really further anyone’s happiness? Will imprisoning and/or taking away the children of other fellow human beings further anyone’s happiness? Will restricting the rights and/or demeaning or belittling other human beings further any rationally functioning human being’s happiness? How about devaluing the right to choose/decide/”vote” of our fellow human beings? What about taking away their pursuit of health & wellness, particularly if they have a pre-existing condition?

What about diminishing or destroying their economic well-being? Their right to a free and equitable education? Their right to good paying jobs? Their right to pursue/achieve/operate within a truly functioning transportation and communication infrastructure?

Their right to even live, in this time of unencumbered “free market” pandemic.

And, sadly, your view isn’t even in the majority. No, wait, you’ve decided that your pursuit of happiness is more important than anyone else’s, so that doesn’t matter, does it?

Do you really subscribe to a belief system that embraces the above?

Do you still consider yourself a Republican? Or have you slipped down the slippery slope of authoritarianism? Do you really think you believe in our democracy and our constitution, or are you really just a Trumpette? You’ve got two-plus weeks to decide. Your children and grandchildren will be watching.

Jim Martin



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