Letter: A different conservative perspective

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

This in response to two columns by Will Collins about being a conservative Republican and not a racist.

I, too, was a Republican most of my life. My family had a business and the Republicans are the party of business.

We had a parakeet named Ike, a shepherd dog named Mamie, and a cat named Pat (Nixon). I voted for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and both Bushes.

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The last straw for me was George W’s war with Iraq.

I regret that I didn’t vote for Al Gore. My vote wouldn’t have made a difference, but I wouldn’t have felt so responsible for the unbelievable death and destruction, not to mention the staggering cost.

Under George W., we experienced a 57 percent increase in the deficit, largely due to the wars. Is that conservative?

I voted for Obama twice and remain a great admirer of the man. I fault him for being too timid with regard to Syria, but I think he was limited by the nation’s fatigue from two unnecessary wars. (Yes, we should have gone after bin Laden, but we should not have become an occupying force.)

You demonstrate from your actions that you are not a racist, and I’m sure almost all Republicans would say they are not racists.

But you have to wonder why the Republican Party (92 percent white) is now so strong in the south.

Did it begin with passage the 1964 Civil Rights Act and was it more recently accelerated by the election of Obama?

I have to wonder why Republicans are pushing so hard for more restrictive voting laws when there is minimal evidence of a problem.

Regarding the monuments, I applaud the way Jim Gray has led the discussion in Lexington. The voices of those who are offended have been heard and respected.

I loved Paul Prather’s editorial in the Lexington Herald (Aug. 20) regarding the Lee statue in Charlottesville. I’m an admirer of Lee, but Prather left me no doubt that Lee would not have wanted a statue of himself, but rather would have convinced the Confederate (and Nazi) flag bearers to be ashamed of their racism and to go home.

As another conservative, I also believe that our free market is the best economic system, but the guys with all the money should not have all the power. That’s the way it’s going, especially since Citizen’s United.

I urge you to read Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s book “Captured, The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy.” It tells the story of how the founding fathers did a great job of balancing the power of the three branches of government, but didn’t foresee the unlimited power of big corporate money.

We already know that our congressmen have to oblige the ones who finance their campaigns. Whitehouse also talks about the revolving door at the top of the executive branch, how the regulated become the regulators, especially true under Trump (who was supposed to drain the swamp).

Even the judicial branch is under corporate influence, with the corporate financing of the grooming of judicial candidates.

So I too am a conservative, but I would rather live in a world that’s more egalitarian.

I would rather live in a world where a family doesn’t struggle for a generation to buy a house and then lose it because they weren’t able to afford health insurance.

I’d rather live in a world where those who struggle at the lower end of the wage scale have good access to see a doctor.

I’d rather live in a world where the worker at Wal-Mart didn’t qualify for welfare.

I’d rather live in a world where our national leaders aren’t dependent on corporate money to keep them in power, but rely on the power of their ideas to lead us to a better tomorrow.

Mark McCammish