It's very disheartening that so many Nevada Appeal letter writers lament what they consider a trend by our government to become Socialist and Marxist. Most of the letter writers have little understanding of these political/economic concepts and mindlessly rant based on misconceptions.
As our leaders contemplate how to solve economic and health care issues confronting our society, the opposition lashes out. I am old enough to remember that critics of the New Deal and Social Security made the same charges against the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and the Congressional leadership that eventually secured these basic rights for our citizens.
One might argue that our government has been hijacked by right wing radicals and corporate power brokers-multinational banks and insurance companies, vicious financial institutions with little regulation to control them. They seem to be supported by a loud, vocal minority. They have also struck fear into the hearts of the decent, thoughtful majority who expect and need the help of our government. These are the citizens who voted for President Obama in a significant majority. We need to hear their voices again.
Enlightened political leaders have been fighting for years to achieve what our international competitors have had for decades - universal health care for their people. Competitors also have made progress on universal education and dignified retirement for their nation's workers. Our nation has fallen behind.
President Obama is bringing us closer to universal health care than anyone in our history. Sen. Harry Reid and his colleagues have provided the skilled legislative leadership needed to make universal health care a possibility, but all of us need to get behind the administration to make health care work for the entire nation and our state.
For those who incessantly criticize the president, let me remind them of what this president had done in his first year: He passed a stimulus bill which saved our economic institutions from disaster (we were on the verge of falling off the cliff which we had been driven to by the previous administration); he has re-established our international credibility, in both the east and the west (we had become one of the most distrusted nations in the world under the Bush Administration); he has won the Nobel Peace Prize as a symbol of the hope the world has for his future accomplishments and for our nation to become once again respected and honored. We are currently working out of the housing disaster; and the unemployment rate is slowly coming down.
We have experienced eight years of a disastrous Bush administration (with an illegal, unjust war in Iraq the cost of which was kept off the books and which added to our enormous debt). This was an administration that practiced irresponsible deregulation to help its Wall Street friends, with very little concern for main street. One can scarcely believe those who are calling for a return to the Bush-era conservative principles and its disastrous polices. It would be insanity.
• Dr. Eugene T. Paslov, former Nevada superintendent of schools, is a board member for Silver State Charter High School in Carson City.