Sound Off: Give us change, not liberalism

By Mike Turner

After reading Mr. Joiner’s “Sound off” column in the Feb. 16 Whidbey News-Times, “Liberalism leads youth astray,” I felt compelled to reply.

First, I was obliged to break out my Merriam-Webster Dictionary and look-up the definition of liberal. A person might think from the tone of your writing that being a liberal, or indeed having a tendency toward liberalism, is something to be equated to fascism or some other such “ism.” What a relief to learn a liberal is (1) Of, or relating to, the liberal arts. (4) Not narrow in opinion or judgement: Tolerant. (5) Not conservative.

If being “tolerant” in my political views allows me to claim such a title, I’m quite proud. I accept the title of liberal with humility.

My problem is that I believe Mr. Joiner overlooked the real cause for the overwhelming numbers at the Democratic caucus.

The issue isn’t about liberalism. It’s about change. It’s about the end of an eight-year Republican administration that has gone on record as one of the most polarizing and divisive in our nation’s history. It’s about a Republican administration that basically lied and mislead this nation into war. It’s about a Republican administration that twisted the truth so grievously that anyone critical of its policies was termed Un-American; any nation in disagreement an enemy.

It’s about a Republican administration with an environmental record that absolutely stinks. It’s about a Republican administration that has actively negated many of our civil rights, often in secret, in the name of “security.” It’s about a Republican administration that applies “Scooter Libby” justice to its own.

Mr. Joiner, the current Republican administration through its foreign policy has radically changed America’s image. In much of the world, we are seen as an aggressor. A fat, rich, aggressor, active only in our own self-interest with perhaps our Achille’s heel being oil.

At home, Mr. Joiner, pressing domestic issues include health care, education, and the economy. Constrained for space, allow me to mention briefly concerning health care in America, 47 million are without it. About education, with college tuitions rising, fewer and fewer middle class families are able to afford it, and don’t get me started on “no child left behind”!

Finally, about the economy I have three topics for you, jobs, the lack of them, sub-prime loans, and recession. And I didn’t even mention the deficit! People are fed up, and disgusted. They want change, Mr. Joiner.

It’s not about liberalism. It’s about new direction. And it’s about history.

I sincerely believe what you are witnessing this year is movement and history unique to the Democrats. I see two excellent candidates, with great appeal to all who seek change. Two excellent candidates making history through their nomination or ultimate election to president. One by gender, the other by race.

A marked contrast to the long, tired, line of candidates proposed by the opposite side this year. For the Democrats one speaks of experience. The other brings the uplifting message of hope and work. Both offer opportunities.

For the first time, there is a passion among voters in general, there is a real sense of “the fierce urgency of now.” That’s what you witnessed on the day of the caucus, Mr. Joiner.

If you’ve been watching the news you must be aware this trend is nationwide, not just here on Whidbey Island.

Mike Turner

lives in Oak Harbor.

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