published Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

‘Conservative’ now means ‘Republican’ and more letters to the editor

‘Conservative’ now means ‘Republican’

Following another defeat by a feckless presidential candidate, the Republican Party should seek counsel with conscious conservatives. “Conscious” is intended to contrast comatose Republicans.

To their peril, the Republicans overtly shunned visionary conservative candidates like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. In so doing, they alienated many who respect the genuinely creative ideas of those two unique Republicans.

“Conservative” is used with trepidation. This term is cast about with abandon by politicians and pundits who have no sense of its meaning. George W. Bush is called a conservative, a vexing description to some yet lost on the unconscious.

Though forwarding differing strategies of governance, the Republican and Democratic parties’ policies both result in bloated government, enormous deficits and intrusive policies. Both embrace European Keynesian economics while ignoring Nobel Prize-winning American economist Milton Friedman.

Herein “conservative” is intended to signify policies affirming austere government that champions individual liberty, minimizes government’s size, authority and intrusion into our personal lives and that is timorous of foreign entanglements. Democrats seldom associate their party with conservative values while Republicans incessantly self-describe as conservative. Recognizing words and their sense evolve perhaps the word conservative now merely means “Republican,” whatever that is.

DAN C. JOHNSON

State’s statues are shameful

In our great “Hall of Statuary” in Washington, D.C., two life-size, bronze statues are chosen by each state to represent them? Who would you think were our selections? Davey Crockett? How about the most outstanding soldier of WWII, Desmond Doss (Medal of Honor) who saved 75 wounded soldiers and never fired a gun? Or our WWI hero Sgt. Alvin York, or even the amazing “Wizard of the Saddle,” N.B. Forrest of our Civil War?

Maybe Al Gore comes to mind; President Andrew Johnson; Ann Dudley, who helped bring women the vote? The “King and Queen” of the blues, B.B. King, Bessie Smith; the “Queen of Country,” Dolly Parton or the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin? All from Tennessee.

Would you select Sequoyah and Nancy Ward of our Cherokee Nation?

We picked Andrew “Trail of Tears” Jackson and John Sevier, who waited until Cherokee Chief Dragging Canoe vacated Moccasin Bend on a hunting trip to swoop down and massacre every defenseless woman and child.

The wise words of my old hippy guru comes to mind, “If it ain’t good for the monkies — melt the mother down!”

Whoever chose these should be ashamed.

ROBERT LEE BROWN

Missionary Ridge

How are we helping others?

Cultural morals are measured by the way a country treats those citizens who cannot help themselves: the young, the infirmed, the handicapped, the old. Our newly elected leaders have pushed abortifacients calling them contraceptives. Where are we headed? What are we doing!

GERALD WHITELY

Ringgold, Ga.

Make retirement deal worthwhile

As the Mountain City Club debates the retirement package for Mr. Noah Oliver (Times Free Press, Nov. 24), the bartender who retired after 50 years of service, they might want to provide free membership for him and his family, gratis meals and a special table just for them — like the “Guineas” had.

Instead of members asking Mr. Oliver to come and “hand out beer on their fishing trips,” after which they would “give him cash and the small fishes [sic]” after he retired from the club because of illness, they could make certain his retirement package allows him to pursue more leisurely activities of his own choice.

In addition, the Mountain City Club should consider setting up a fund to pay for sensitivity training for their members as they undergo the seemingly traumatic experience of having to accept a woman bartender in Mr. Oliver’s stead. We would certainly be glad to donate to such a cause.

NANCY HATCH AND MICHAEL VAUGHAN WOODWARD

Remember those who sing of peace

Just last year, Egyptian public uprising ousted a long-time dictator and elected freely the first devout Muslim president. Already the Egyptian public is becoming wary that the president is granting himself greater powers, which might make him a powerful dictator of the country.

I wonder how the Christians will fare under the new political make-up of Egypt? Christians lived in Egypt for a long time before Muslim conquerors came there. Today, about 10 percent of the population of Egypt is Christian. Christians have long faced discrimination, including repairing and building houses of worship. Christians usually focus on spiritual life, but some believe that until they are equal citizens, it will be hard for them to have their voice in making Egypt’s new constitution. Muslim Brotherhood majority has control drafting of the constitution, and they are using it to increase the influence of Islam on the state.

During this time of the year in America we sing the songs of peace and worship “the prince of peace.” Can we remember all those who suffer because they worship “the prince of peace” and sing songs of peace for their native lands.

AMOS TAJ

Ooltewah

Specifics lacking for development

In Chattanooga, some developments are held to very high standards while others are ushered through the city planning and zoning process with little attention to specifics.

One case in point is the development planned for Highway 153. The “village” concept for that property is speculative at best. Scenic Land Co. cannot produce even one corporate client or retail business for the enormous shopping, office and apartment area they propose. Yet, the company and its agents are asking the community to support a change in zoning that will result in the stripping of yet another tract of land in Hixson for some unnamed and unsecured future client.

The developer says the commercial business stock in Hixson is all 40 years old or older and is therefore unusable. That’s clearly not the position of the Northgate owner or the owners of the businesses that have successfully occupied previously vacant space.

The notion that our community should clear any available piece of land in the name of “improvements” that serve only to line the pockets of developers is one the Hixson community rejects and one our Regional Planning Commission should reject as well.

CHUCK GRUTER

Hixson

Pledges aren’t leadership

No politician should ever “pledge” to do anything other than act in accordance with their oath of office. A leader must be free to make decisions in real time, based upon the facts and circumstances that present themselves. True and effective leadership always involves compromise, and to pledge never to compromise can lead only to stalemate and inaction — something the American people obviously detest. Pledging is not leadership and telling some constituents that their opinion will never be considered is anti-democratic. The Republicans seem to believe that compromise and open-mindedness are weaknesses. They are not.

JOHN C. CAVETT JR.

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Visionary conservative? That's a contradiction in terms. Neither Ron Paul or Gary Johnson are accurately described as conservative, they may make that claim or not, but they are actually radical libertarians.

But then your description of conservative is not accurate either. In practice, or premise.

Maybe you should just accept that words and labels often have nebulous meanings.

But yes, the Republican party has shifted its ideology. Duh. Have you ever looked at what Abe Lincoln was up to?

AMOS TAJ, non-Christians lived in Egypt too. What happened to them?

December 2, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
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