LETTER TO THE EDITOR: 2022 is crucial to our democracy
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The winds of erosion of our democracy are blowing stronger as more attacks pile on and disregard for our Constitution continues unabated. Highest level crimes like insurrection and sedition, are defended by large segments of a major political party sworn to defend against them.
Dangerous threats to democracy are the attacks on voting rights, ease of casting ballots, gerrymandering district boundaries, and allowing challenges to election results with no basis. The presidential election of 2020 was perhaps the most honest but most challenged in history as well.
Election years are the best opportunity to portray differences between the political parties, their historical records while in power, and what they are planning for the future. The period from the Depression in the ‘30s to the present is representative of each party’s contributions to the “common good.”
RELATED: Read more letters to the editor
Luckily, I don’t have to go back into the unknown to gain an appreciation of each party’s governing accomplishments and failures. I was born in the Depression and was only 7 when World War II broke out.
Unfortunately, the two parties have drawn their lines in the sand for decades. Republicans are largely conservatives resisting change if it costs tax dollars versus the liberal progressive Democrats push for investing tax dollars to advance programs leading to future improvements in the lives of everyone. History has proven this to be true.
A good way to see party differences is looking back in history to see what major events have taken place and which party was responsible. In general, however, Republicans have taken the positions of individualism versus government/private sector partnership, reducing government regulation and control, lowering taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and emphasizing America First in foreign relations.
Most notable improvements in “social” areas since the Depression and World War II are the civil rights of non-whites and women in general, and finally including gender differences. Voting rights, civil rights, and lifting women up were key advancements, all Democrat initiatives vehemently opposed by Republicans.
On the economic front, labor unions were born giving workers more control over wages and benefits, which along with Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid has provided seniors with resources in their later years. Many of these advances will be rescinded or repealed if Republicans regain control as happened under the Trump presidency.
Just a short summary to get our minds into this critical election.