I just wanted to set the record straight as Betty Catania (“Defining what liberals have done in America,” Nov. 2) misled citizens about who was responsible for many rights and benefits now afforded all of us. Ms. Catania clams in her letter that all the issues below were the accomplishments of liberals. For the sake of argument, I am assuming she meant Democrats.
- Women’s right to vote. Congress was controlled by Republicans and the vote was 302 to 90 in favor of a new amendment to grant women the right to vote, then it went to states.
- Slavery: Last I heard, President Lincoln was a Republican.
- Social Security: Both Democrats and Republicans passed it by party majorities.
- The Civil Rights Act: Republican votes pushed the amendment over the top. Southern Democrats voted against the act (93 percent), which almost caused the act to fail. Martin Luther King was a Republican.
- National parks: Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican and was responsible for establishing the first national parks in the U.S.
- The Clean Air Act and EPA: Were both established by President Nixon.
- Voting Rights Act: It was passed overwhelming by both parties.
- FDIC: It was part of the Glass-Stengel Act, most of which Bill Clinton abolished and by doing so created many of our banking problems today.
- Child labor laws: Were established not so much to protect children but to give adults a better chance at jobs during the Depression.
- Postal service: What can I say?
- FBI: It was started 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt’s attorney general and not yet named the FBI. Teddy, as stated earlier, was a Republican.
- 911: Was started by a troubled citizen and facilitated by AT&T. Nationally, it was a bipartisan issue and responsibility of the FCC.
- Unemployment benefits: Were enacted by individual states first, and became national as a part of the Social Security Act.
Most truly transformational laws were not the act of one party, but as a result of bipartisan acts, which are what we need today.