Monday, August 03, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Open Letter to
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

May 4, 2013 --

Dear Senator Reid,

Recently, speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate, you suggested that the Tea Party was against local, state and federal governments, compared the Tea Party to anarchists, and asserted "government is inherently good."

I am confused by your comment on government. (I am not confused by your Tea Party comment which indicates to me that you see the Tea Party as inherently bad.) The reason for my confusion might best be explained by reference to something President Truman said in his address to a joint session of Congress, March 12, 1947, seeking aid to Greece and Turkey to keep those nations from going communist.

President Truman told Congress that the nations of the world had two ways of life to choose. "One way of life, President Truman said, "is based on the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantee of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression." President Truman continued, "The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of person freedoms."

Senator Reid, when you say "government is inherently good," do you mean that it does not matter what form government takes? Are you saying that the government deriving from either of the ways of life set forth by President Truman are equally good?

James Madison, in Federalist No. 57, said that a people who tolerates a government that exempts officials from the laws imposed on the people "will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty." Is a government that would exempt officials from laws imposed on the people at large "inherently good."

I ask this question because the American people were informed, last month, of plans to exempt Congress from burdensome aspects of Obamacare that are to be imposed on the people. Madison suggested, in Federalist No. 57, that a government that has one law for officials and another law for the people is an oppressive government. Do you content that a government that exempts officials from Obamacare is "inherently good"?

Senator Reid, please see the opening sentence of Federalist No. 57. It addresses the problem of political insiders seeking the "ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few."

Would you maintain that a government committed to the "ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few" is "inherently good?"

Let me conclude with just one further question: would you claim that because "government is inherently good," there can never a basis for the people to seek "a redress of grievances?"

Yours truly

David R. Zukerman.
for Lonely Pamphleteer Review