Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
For once, I find myself in agreement with Sen. Sampson. We should judge politicians by their principles, not partisanship. (All of governing entails politics.) From that point on, however, he gets everything wrong, starting with American history!
The political parties are not “more divided than ever.” Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton and we fought a Civil War because of divisions between the parties.
America was not founded on “free market capitalism,” which did not exist until a half-century later. It was founded on small farms and mercantilism in the North and slave-based agriculture in the South.
The divergence between the parties has not come about because of Bernie Sanders’ “socialism,” which is a word Republicans throw around constantly. They applied it to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which I doubt Sen. Samson wants to abolish. It has come about because the Republicans have abandoned the principles of Teddy Roosevelt (the “trust buster”), Ronald Reagan (who supported gun regulations and “cap & trade”), and even Richard Nixon (who created the EPA). All of them would be Democrats by today’s standards.
I do agree, however, that when it comes to a “cult of personality,” Trump has “upped that game exponentially.” Never before has a candidate or president falsely accused another of not being an American citizen, or demanded they be “locked up” for unspecified and non-existent crimes. Never has political discourse been lowered to the point that a president’s speeches are not suitable for children and his lies and incitements have to be flagged as such.
But let us return to principles. I am a Democrat because I support America’s foundational principles. I believe that “all people are created equal” and have a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I believe that this includes the right to vote without undue impediments.
I believe that every right, however, comes with responsibilities. The right to “keep and bear arms,” includes the responsibility to obey “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons … or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” [Justice Scalia, DC v. Heller]
I believe that one’s freedom of religion extends only to one’s personal beliefs. It does not allow one to impose these beliefs on others, or to exercise them in a way that endangers another’s life or health.
The policies that Sen. Sampson supports violate these principles, and that is why I oppose him.
Martin E. Cobern