Letters to the Editor

'Bump' over common people

Would I be remiss in suggesting that the "bump" received by Republicans following the soap opera cum minstrel show in San Diego arose from millions of American lottery players still hoping to find a quick and easy way to decrease large personal deficits caused by Reaganish credit card spending habits?

Is Mr. Dole's proposal for abolishing the IRS a ploy to aid "born again" robber barons in a "buy-back" of the palatial estates now owned by the Newport Historical Society? For those of you too young to remember, these "summer cottages" (see "America's Castles" on your A&E cable channel) were built and maintained with pre-IRS, tax-free money, much like today's tax-free multi-million dollar edifices for political and religious indoctrination, so popular among the Pat Robertson crowd.

What would happen to our health care costs if robber barons in the HMO industry controlled all pharmaceutical research and manufacture along with that pesky FDA and those greedy Medicare busters in the AMA union, to whom we daily entrust our lives?

How long will Medicare and Medicaid last if the robber barons see a necessity to downsize surplus population numbers emanating from forced births of unwashed masses with incomes under six figures per annum? That'd sure make Dr. Jack Kervorkian's humanitarian efforts look like a penny-ante "Mom and Pop" operation wouldn't it? (Do you suppose millionaire physicians find this man reprehensible, because he helps relieve intolerable suffering, or because he refuses to accept a fee for his services, while denying them further access to the patient's bank account?)

If Republicans are so hot-to-trot to provide tax break incentives to small businesses, then given the economic reality that the majority of small businesses today are started by women, is there any chance they'll also advocate equal pay for equal work in large businesses? I'll let you hold your breath. I'm at the age when shortness of breath could lead to incontinence in my IRA.

Rusty Havican
6430 Creekbend Drive
Houston, TX 77096

Torricelli 'no progressive'

In the July issue of The Progressive Populist we see Rep. Torricelli, candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, masquerading as one of us. He presents a nostalgic article on the benefits of progressive politics from 1955 tapering off in 1973. The implication is that Robert Torricelli is just one of the progressive boys, celebrating our progressive past.

It won't wash with those of us who know you Bob! You can't be a poster boy for the Cuban American National Foundation by sponsoring the infamous Cuban Democracy Act and then reach for progressive support when you need it for your senatorial campaign. I clearly remember occupying your Hackensack office with other members of the Rainbow Coalition when you were cheerleading the Gulf War.

Do you think we've already forgotten your most recent betrayal by being the only N.J. Democrat voting for the new Republican Welfare Bill?

This sneak attack on progressives who might not know you by inserting a hymn to by-gone progressivism in a progressive publication is now unmasked. Back to your right-wing Cuban pals. You are not welcome here.

Jim Mohn
7000 Blvd East
Guttenberg, N.J. 07093

Settle down, Ronnie

I beg to differ with Ronnie Dugger in his "Vote Nader" article in your July, 1996 issue.

He endorses a fine person in Mr. Nader. But Dugger has a prejudice, not a vision, when he says the "... two-party system of the United States is a farce, a lie, a cheat, a fraud." I would hate for that language to appear in Haiti, Russia, Burma, India, Nicaragua, etc. who seek to attain a small blueprint of our and this world's best democracy.

I would like proportional representation instead of the two-party system but not at the expense of a Republican House of Representatives electing a President because no candidate of the Green, Perot, Labor, New, Republican, Libertarian, or Democratic party got a majority!

My favorite professor at the University of Texas often commented that a person's politics gets more conservative the older he became. I am eighty-four.

But I remember Franklin Roosevelt. The platform he ran on turned my stomach. But he faced the great depression of this country and the world. So he brought into his government new and startling programs: bank closings, C.C.C.s, killing cattle, plowing up crops, going off the gold standard, Social Security, among others. That then took us down the road to a better democracy of blacks and women voters and younger men to the vote and abolishing poll tax. etc.

I feel this earth stands now at another crossroads worse than that which President Roosevelt confronted. Over-population, environment, terrorism, poor labor unions and multi-national corporations, are slaves to masters who do not answer for those corporations' misdeeds.

I predict that history in 2024 will rate President Clinton and his wife up there with President Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor. Both of these wives are heros of mine.

So settle down Ronnie; guide this democracy to a greater heritage.

Otto B. Mullinax
11806 Cheswick St.
Dallas, Texas 75218

Don't be 'respectable'

For the most part I've enjoyed reading your publication and I think that it serves a vital role in trying to create a new politics in this country. If some form of progressive populism does not evolve, I shudder to think of the alternatives.

Along those lines of thought, I am somewhat uneasy over some of the anti-militia articles you have published. This uneasiness is not because I favor militias, but because the tone of the articles brought a sense of deja blue. The attitude of the writer was the same type of attitude that I can remember from the 1960s as the fashionable liberals derided the "rednecks" and the "Archie Bunkers" and patted themselves on the posterior for their enlightened views. The net result of this inexcusable snobbishness was that the Democratic party lost much, if not, most of its plebeian vote and the country has been subjected to we all know what for the last quarter of a century.

It is disheartening to see that many so called erstwhile populists still don't get it. One cannot be a populist and be fashionable and respectable. The issue is how to provide the alienated a constructive alternative for the economic and social ills that have been caused by the doctors and the coffee shop ski trippers your writer seems to extol. As long as approval of the yuppies is involved, there will be no populism, progressive or otherwise.

The other features are worth the $18. Keep up the good work.

Hal Suter
Corpus Christi, Texas

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