EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 15, 2013

Letter: My ‘ilk’ fears for our country’s future


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Eagle-Tribune for allowing us ordinary citizens a forum to voice our opinions, and hopefully “respectfully” disagree. I just read Tom Chapman’s (“Obamacare has already passed muster”) letter in direct response to my letter (“Let the public vote on Obamacare”) and find myself compelled to respond.

Mr. Chapman, thank you. You make so many points for me that have appeared in all of my recent letters. First and foremost, the need to try and fit me in some tidy, neat box in the same way, seemingly, the mainstream media would with “those of my ilk” and “tea party aficionado”, not to mention “collection of some very stupid people” and “loser.”

The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, was narrowly and barely passed on a straight party-line vote in the House and if that vote were taken today would not pass. In the past, laws of this magnitude, like Social Security, were passed overwhelmingly by both parties of the House and Senate. The Supreme Court ruling is dubious as they blurred their role as the branch of government that only is supposed to interpret and enforce laws. They knew they could not rule in favor of forcing citizens to purchase a product or service against their will, so, they changed the language (something that should never happen) so it would conveniently fit into the tax code, that is, this is a tax putting it under the purview of the IRS, God help us!

This is my point in case you missed it: I find our government mandating what’s good for us in the name of something, like affordable health care for all, saving the planet, and public safety. People of my ilk sir, frankly, find this trend leading this great country toward a European-style social welfare state. My “ilk” by the way is I work a full-time job, run a home business, am a single parent of two college-age daughters and am a Vietnam vet.

With all due respect, can you not see what’s happening to America? Do you not understand that the labor participation rate is only 63.2 percent and pardon my concern over this one fact alone? Do you not see that our public schools spend three times the money per student of any other industrialized nation and we now have “Common Core” and “standard based grading” to further dumb down the nation? Is success a bad thing because it’s not fair to people who are too damn lazy to even try?

Sure, let’s not have letter grades anymore and give medals to everyone who simply participates in a sport and teach our kids that mediocrity is the new normal. Let’s just let President Obama take to a podium and give speeches with a complicit media backing him up to constantly lie, deflect and not be taken to task for being an empty suit when it comes to leadership. This is the man who just said, “Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t mean our debt is going to go up.”

I end with this: “Me and my ilk” are speaking for hard-working, law-abiding and god-fearing Americans of all political parties who would like the Constitution to still be the supreme law of the land. We yearn for true representative government and honest leadership. Is that asking too much, Mr. Chapman?

Neil Westerman

Methuen