A liberal wish list, examined
January 7, 2019
"I am suggesting a wish list for liberals for Christmas this year." Tom Riggins, LVN columnist, Dec. 26, 2018
I am going to compliment conservative columnist Tom Riggins by showing him that I read his column. For those who haven't read it, I'll recap as I go along. Most of the column is a rehash of debunked right-wing talking points, but clearly they still need to be addressed.
Christianity: Riggins implies that liberals hold Christmas and Christianity in contempt. In reality, many of the Democrats I know are Christians who practice their faith actively. Being a Christian is not a requirement for being an American (see First Amendment), but Democrats do believe in caring for "the least of these my brethren," as Jesus said in Matthew 25:40.
In contrast, too many Republican leaders seem to be the ones Jesus described in Matthew 23:13-33, "whitewashed tombs … full of dead men's bones." They talk about their faith, but their actions show the reality, and it's not pretty.
Health care: Riggins claims liberals want single-payer health care. He's right. All Americans 65 and over get this protection. Why are those under 65 less worthy?
Border security: Riggins says liberals don't want the border wall (true), then falsely equates this with wanting open borders. No one wants open borders. President Barack Obama beefed up border security significantly and illegal immigration dropped considerably.
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Liberals recognize that the border wall as Trump envisions it will create more problems than it solves, including the need to seize land from border residents who don't want to lose their property for a monstrosity in their backyard. In spite of that, last January Democrats offered Trump $25 billion for the wall (Slate, 3/28/18). Trump refused the deal. Blaming Democrats inflames his base, and that's his real goal.
Constitution: Riggins claims liberals want to get rid of the Constitution. Actually, it's Trump who keeps flouting the Constitution, thinking he has the powers of a king instead of recognizing he's the leader of one of three co-equal branches of government.
For example, Trump has been violating the Emoluments Clause (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8) since Inauguration Day. Several lawsuits against the president on this are proceeding, showing the courts agree this is a real issue, just one of many violations by Trump. I won't even mention his desire to undermine the First Amendment, but anyone who's been paying attention knows this is true, and there's lots more.
Supreme Court: Riggins seems upset that liberals want Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg to live. Does he want her to die? That's not very nice.
College costs: Riggins is also upset at the thought of students being able to afford college. Maybe he wants to go back to the days when only the wealthy and powerful could send their children to college. After all, why do the riffraff need an education? They just need to be trained to be obedient little workers for the ruling class. No one should expect more, right?
Climate change: Riggins opposes climate change regulation; maybe he hopes to make a killing selling beachfront property here in Fallon. That's an exaggeration, of course, but blocking steps to combat climate change is dooming our grandchildren to a future of increased flooding, fires, hurricanes, famine, etc., and general misery all around. Why is that a good thing? Anyone?
Taxes: Riggins claims Democrats hate tax cuts. Obama's two tax cuts were both larger than Trump's tax cut, and Democratic president Bill Clinton balanced the budget, something no Republican has done. I know facts can be painful to conservatives, but try to keep up.
Gun control: Riggins claims that liberals want to take everyone's guns away. He gives no sources to support this lie. Millions of Democrats own and use guns. What we want are universal background checks, limits on magazines, and so forth. Why are Republicans so anxious for criminals and violent people to get guns? I find that rather confusing.
Hillary Clinton: Riggins says liberals believe that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, things would be much better. He's right. We wouldn't have a White House and administration in total chaos or foreign and domestic policy that changes daily depending on what Trump sees on Fox News. Our allies could trust us and our government would be taking care of its duties to us. Yes, it would be better.
As we head into the new year, let's resolve to use facts when discussing issues. It really is the best way.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.