Posted on

Free exchange of ideas democracy’s bedrock

Thanks to Mr. Ritz for his recent response. I do enjoy reading his views. I, too, am not inclined to continue the back and forth, although the free exchange of ideas is one of the bedrocks of our democracy. I will not assume that this is the last word. I would never imply that people could not express their opinions to anything I write.

After going back and re-reading Mr. Ritz’s first letter, I may have misinterpreted his discussion of the Supreme Court and abortion. His recent explanation on this point was much clearer but still somewhat flawed. He says the people and their legislators should solely make the decisions on societal issues and not nine fallible judges. (I’m paraphrasing, but I’m sure I got it right this time). What he fails to remember is without the courts, societal issues such as Jim Crow laws, segregated schools, poll taxes and a host of other terrible practices too numerous to list could still be the rule of the land.

He says he is for the filibuster, which is his right. I just want to remind him that the Republicans did away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, and we are seeing where that gets us. Corporations are now considered people. Observers who were listening to the Supreme Court recently seem to think the conservative judges will side with the football coach’s prayer case, which would mean that school coaches who are Muslim will be able to give students prayer rugs and have them pray to Allah after the game, or maybe a coach who is Buddhist will be able to help students search for nirvana. Be careful what you wish for. As President, Thomas Jefferson said there will always be a wall between religion and public entities. Conservatives are slowly tearing down that wall.

I stand by my use of the words extreme on the right and adamant on the left. I personally consider someone saying “Black lives matter’’ as adamant and “Hang Mike Pence” as extreme, and I could give hundreds of similar examples.

Mr. Ritz seems obsessed with transgenders. In his rebuttal to my original “Four Issues with Conservatives,” he spent about 25% of his comments on this particular topic, which is unusual because I never mentioned the term transgender. He was rebutting something that was not there. He worked it in by calling liberals hypocritical. But in his last letter, “Responder Misunderstood … , ” he used almost 60% of his comments on transgenders. He implies this is the most important issue today. I consider cultural issues much less important than health care, child care, drug costs, taxes, immigration and other issues that affect hundreds of millions of Americans, not those that affect a small minority. My comment to his preoccupation with transgenderism is a text a friend sent me after reading Mr. Ritz’s letter. She wrote, “We should all be kind and generous to everyone. Who are we to judge another.”

Lastly, I commend Mr. Ritz for his willingness to present his beliefs. I wish him well and thank him for the challenge of the discussion.

Editor’s note: Spence Wade resides in Leavenworth, Ind.