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My letter was about ‘liberals,’ not Democrats

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From page A8 | November 12, 2012 | 7 Comments

In response to Annette Summers’ letter (Getting Facts Straight), I want to point out that I never once referred to a political party by  name. My use of the terms “conservative” and “liberal” were in reference to political viewpoints or practices that guided the actions of one party or another throughout our history, regardless of the name adopted by a particular party at the time.

I appreciate the fact that Ms. Summers took the time to do some research. However, if she had read beyond the name of the specific political party and looked at the philosophy or guiding principles behind it, she would have realized that Lincoln’s Republican Party was the liberal party at the time. The Democratic Party in the South (aka the Dixiecrats) was a very conservative wing of the Democratic Party and remained so until they switched their allegiance to the Republican Party, which had grown more and more conservative over time. As for Teddy Roosevelt, he was a progressive, and the party he represented significantly expanded the role of government in protecting the rights and health of the nation.

Regardless of the party’s name, Republican, Democratic, Federalist or Whig, the point I was making is that there is a significant difference in philosophy between conservatives and liberals, and throughout our history, the philosophy of each has impelled them toward very different ends. So, in the overall scheme of things, a party’s name does not have great significance, but the beliefs that propel it in one direction or another certainly do.

Betty Catania

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 7 comments

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  • ASummersNovember 10, 2012 - 10:49 am

    I'm a Conservative and I believe in all of those rights and laws for Americans - well maybe with the exception of keeping the post office public. Many of my friends and family have closed businesses and moved, or are struggling to make ends meet. We are made out to be heartless by the liberals, but we have "given" more to charities and paid more in taxes than another groups, and have families that want to be successful, happy, and free. We do not want to continuely see wasteful spending or be over run over by government regulations (40,000 new regulations just last year) and high taxes that kill businesses. Without private businesses, the state, local and fed revenues will decline, not rise. If you are choked you can't breath!

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  • HKNovember 11, 2012 - 1:01 am

    If you believe in progressive ideas and programs, you just might not be as "conservative" as your fear of the dreaded L-word has led you to believe. Not to worry, we liberals don't bite.

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  • VallejoanNovember 12, 2012 - 9:04 am

    It's not as simple as conservative/liberal. I agree with most of the liberal ideals, but I disagree with their favored methods for achieving them. E.g., laws and regulations are not the best solution to every problem. Outreach and education can often achieve as much at significantly lower cost to the taxpayers.

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  • sapsguyNovember 12, 2012 - 12:11 pm

    You just can't help yourself, Mrs. Catania. Spin, spin, spin and you just keep digging a deeper hole. "Dixiecrats" did not exist in the days of Lincoln as you imply. They arose in 1948 and after only four or so years simply ceased to exist or were absorbed back into the Democrat party. They did not "switch their allegiance to the Republican party" as you state and I dare you to try to support that lie with a single item of verifiable evidence. You may have been a schoolteacher but heaven help us if you taught history or civics!

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  • HKNovember 12, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    And how, pray tell, do you explain Strom Thurmond?

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 12:32 am

    That's the best "single item of verifiable evidence" I could think of too. Should we look for another? How about Jesse Helms? But it is basically true that most of the Dixiecrats returned to the Democratic Party after the 1948 election. It was their successors in ideology that bolted from the Democrats to the Republicans following the Civil Right Act of 1964.

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  • Jones sabo 'gp' to 'rolled platinum' further declare that the goods is not constructed including accApril 16, 2013 - 3:09 pm

    Some truly good articles on this web site , regards for contribution.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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