Epps off base in column; we can change leaders

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 3:45pm
By: Letters to the ...

I usually find Father Epps’ columns to be insightful because they cut through the baloney and identify in a common-sense way the core of issues; however, this week’s installment about U.S. citizens owning Wall Street took the cake for simplistic naivete (www.thecitizen.com/~citizen0/node/35714).

The form of government Father Epps describes where the government takes one’s money with no individual say in the matter is a dictatorship or other totalitarian regime.

The U.S. is hardly a dictatorship. At the beginning of this year we had a peaceful transition from one administration to another, and we’ve been doing this for more than 200 years.

Our whole government is elected by us the citizens, and if there is anything they do that displeases us, ultimately we have only ourselves as individual citizens to blame.

Certainly, I don’t support everything the government does, but democracies are about making compromise and concession. Ultimately, few are totally pleased.

I’m still having trouble figuring out if this column was just a piece of intentional satire or an attempt at honest, straightforward analysis.

Even if Father Epps feels like his opinions are expressed by a minority in the current government, he is forgetting that he still has his minority rights, which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

He can peacefully assemble with like-minded individuals to petition the government. He can directly address the representatives we elected.

Father Epps complains that he can’t ride on Air Force One or play with the bears in national parks. I’m sure Father Epps can walk into a national park and play with the bears out of sight of the park rangers, and when a bear rips his arm off and beats him with the bloody stub, the ranger can then explain why we don’t let people play with wild animals.

Unfortunately, we have to make rules about common sense. There is a difference from freedom to do whatever you want and the freedom that comes with responsibility in our country. I’m surprised Father Epps has to be reminded of this.

And if one wants to ride on Air Force One, get elected President (or be a big political donor!), and then you can go for a ride.

Democracy is also about practicality. We can’t let the transportation or the living space for the leader of the free world be open to just anyone.

So, no, the average citizen doesn’t really own Wall Street, but if enough of our elected representatives in government order the divestiture, I’m sure the government would do it.

And the way to get our elected representatives to do it is to petition them or become one of them.

My encouragement to Father Epps is that if he doesn’t like the current taxation policy in the U.S., he should find a group of like-minded people and run for office. He still has that right.

Then instead of sitting back and complaining, he can actually do something about it. I’d vote for him.

Father Epps, please be thankful for what you do have. In other countries you could have been put in jail for writing a column comparing the government to muggers.

Paul Schultz


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