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HISTORY: A political lesson

| May 26, 2021 1:00 AM

As a former history teacher, I object to being referred to as “Socialist/Communist Teachers Union” in Terry Traub’s letter. I object to the inference that I indoctrinated or brainwashed my students.

There were some misconceptions in his letter. First off, Eugene Debs, founder of the American Socialist Party in which he ran for president in 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920. Note that three of the elections were before the 1917 Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism.

Theodore Roosevelt was elected president as a Republican. He passed many progressive ideas: the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906), the National Parks system and anti-trust laws. In 1912, he ran as a progressive.

Political party platforms change over time. In the 1860s, the Republicans were anti-slavery and the Democrats were pro-slavery. In the 1950s, the Republicans were against Civil Rights and the Democrats were pro Civil Rights. There was a Democratic Socialist Party in the 1900s, but it was not affiliated with the Democratic Party.

We do not have generations of uninformed or uneducated. To graduate high school, you must take U.S. History. In the past, you had to take Civics/Government as well.

If I had to choose the most “socialist” president, that would be FDR. We have a Social Security system that is socialistic.

In the past, people who had deformities put themselves on display to earn a living. The blind begged on the streets. You could consider the Clean Air/Clean Water acts as socialist/progressive. I like breathing clean air/drinking clean water.

JUANA PERLEY

Coeur d’Alene

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