It has been a while since I have written a letter to the editor, but Ed Payne’s April 14 letter (“Progressivism is killing us all”) prompted a response. It is the latest, and not the most egregious, of many letters indicating that liberals/progressives (L/Ps) are destroying our country, leading us toward socialism, undermining our morals, etc.
Kathryn Schultz’s book Being Wrong indicates that facts seem to have little effect on conservative’s deep-seated beliefs, so this is probably an exercise in futility, but tilting at windmills has a long and noble history.
L/Ps invented and developed science on which Dr. Payne’s profession depends. Without it, he would still be using leeches. L/Ps are responsible for the development of democracy and capitalism that many letters to the editor accuse L/Ps of trying to destroy.
The list of accomplishments and developments of L/Ps is nearly endless: the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution and its Bill of Rights; abolition of slavery; right of all citizens older than 18 to vote; public education; public hospitals; trade unions; curbs on monopolies; the Red Cross; nursing as a profession; humane care for the mentally ill; pure food and drug laws; the 40-hour work week; equal rights for minorities and women; freedom of religion; clean rivers and lakes; the right to marry a person of a different race …
Conservatives opposed, worked against and ridiculed many of these when they were first proposed.
Conservatives do seem to make better generals; however, most of the greatest or most consequential presidents were liberals, and some of the others were equivocal.
To top it all off, the most liberal states (based on voting patterns) are wealthier than the most conservative states, and have to transfer tax dollars to support them.
It would be a much poorer and less free world without the dreaded L/Ps.
Andy C. Reese