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Politics: Need solutions, not more names

by Tom Hearn
| June 11, 2010 9:00 PM

The My Turn column by David Coppom on June 5 that was once again critical of the Democrats had all the current buzzwords and slogans that the Right likes to throw at the president and the Democrats, but he had very little substance in his article.

Calling President Obama a socialist, a Marxist, corrupt, a radical etc., etc. which seems to be a weekly occurrence in The Press, though it sounds clever especially when Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin say it on a regular basis, is just more mudslinging. These labels do nothing to lead to intelligent debate and constructive solutions about the serious problems that we need to deal with as a society. That doesn't mean there is not a place for reasoned opposition and strong partisanship in government. That's why we have two major political parties and a host of smaller ones on the left and right.

But just for once I wish one of these weekly name calling letters and articles in The Press by the Right came up with a more intelligent solution to problems like the debt or the economy or serious foreign policy concerns other than canned slogans and labels. If one disagrees with this negative attitude about our government their opinions are called a "load of bovine scatology," as one of the regular writers to The Press refers to the arguments of those persons who dare to think that President Obama and the Democrats are not the incarnation of evil.

If the purpose of the weekly tirades in The Press against the Democrats is to convince Idahoans that they should vote for the Republican the next time there is a presidential election, in Idaho they don't need much convincing. Idaho hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since LBJ in 1964 and a Democrat for Senate since Frank Church in 1974. If the purpose of the tirades is to intimidate local Democrats into silence, who as a whole are fairly conservative in many of their positions, that is also not happening.

It would be nice, whether Republicans or Democrats, if we had more constructive local persons in political life such as Bruce Reed, a Coeur d'Alene native who President Obama appointed to head the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that is trying to come up with solutions to the national debt. (Don't worry, the Commission has an equal number of Democratic and Republican members of Congress).

In these serious times we need positive persons with a constructive attitude and willingness to work hard to come up with solutions to problems in society on a local and higher level. We don't need the constant attack against politicians or members of the other political party or our government.

Instead, locally in The Press, unfortunately we often get name calling persons who throw worn out labels at the president or Democrats and think they are some form of super patriot. Such persons who rail against the government without offering any solutions are only turning people away from an understanding of our shared responsibility for problems, locally and nationally, and a spirit and willingness to come up with constructive solutions. Such persons seem to get their letters printed fairly often in The Press but with such negativity they are convincing no one of their political correctness. If it wasn't so entertaining at times, these barrage of negative letters and articles is enough to make one consider cancelling their subscription to The Press.

Tom Hearn is a Coeur d'Alene resident.