Po­lit­i­cal his­tory

The Signal - - OPINION -

Reader Jim Hor­ton’s let­ter lec­tured con­trib­u­tor Joshua Heath for a per­ceived fail­ure to be a “stu­dent of our near past his­tory” and en­cour­aged this young col­lege stu­dent to have an open mind. This is a clas­sic case of the “pot call­ing the ket­tle black,” an id­iom which makes a point about hypocrisy, and means “to crit­i­cize some­one for a fault that you also pos­sess.”

Sev­eral points can be made that Mr. Hor­ton is not ex­actly an as­tute stu­dent of po­lit­i­cal his­tory. Hor­ton states that “ev­ery lib­eral pro­gram ever passed has been fraught with un­in­tended con­se­quences which have made them a fail­ure right out of the gate.”

I could point out two lib­eral pro­grams that have been an un­qual­i­fied suc­cess in mak­ing life bet­ter for se­nior Amer­i­cans, like my­self. One is So­cial Se­cu­rity, which is the fi­nan­cial life­line for a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of Amer­i­can se­niors. A sec­ond is Medi­care, which pro­vides a health­care in­surance pro­gram that has saved count­less lives of se­niors since en­acted. Both were bit­terly op­posed by con­ser­va­tives at the time.

Mr. Hor­ton in­cor­rectly de­scribes the con­sen­sus of “cli­mate sci­en­tists” that global warm­ing is a fact. It is def­i­nitely not a “scam that any right-minded in­di­vid­ual can eval­u­ate.” Per­haps he meant that any rad­i­cal right wing con­ser­va­tive (like him­self) can­not be­lieve in cli­mate change. But please do not in­clude oth­ers of us in this cat­e­gory of close minded in­di­vid­u­als. Hor­ton would prob­a­bly con­clude that the re­cent record-break­ing cold storm in the north­ern states is ev­i­dence that cli­mate change is a myth. Le­git­i­mate cli­mate sci­en­tists, both lib­eral and con­ser­va­tive po­lit­i­cally, sep­a­rate cli­mate events from cli­mate change pat­terns which can be mea­sured and are fac­tual in ba­sis. While we can dis­agree with po­lit­i­cal ac­tions taken by some politi­cians to re­solve the global warm­ing cri­sis, e.g., cap and trade and car­bon taxes, this is different from be­ing a global warm­ing de­nier like Mr. Hor­ton.

I hope that Joshua Heath will con­tinue to con­trib­ute his opin­ions and pay scant at­ten­tion to readers like Mr. Hor­ton who play too loosely with facts and his­tory. Thomas Oat­way


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