Letter to the Editor 09-05-18


The Democrats and Republicans I know personally are not bullies, or braggarts. They believe in alternative views, not alternative facts.

I admit that you might hear some blarney now and then from conversations with them, but it is designed more to entertain than deceive, and is best absorbed with a few grains of salt.

To keep us on a path focused more on understanding than just mutual conversion, there is never a shortage of checks and balances in conversations, compatible with the first five letters of civilization.

The viewpoints I routinely hear are not either conservative or libertarian, but both in seeking to conservatively get along with our allies and major trading partners and trade freely, with fair competition, governed by trade agreements negotiated generally in good faith.

These can take years to build when invested in cooperation and only months to tear down in going alone, when believing only we know what is best for us and whoever is on the other side of the table.

Putting ourselves in label boxes called “conservative” or “progressive” leaves us no room to get the proportions right.

Change is a constant and is never going away. In fact, it is accelerating in large part because our own cutting-edge technology is leading the way, on which both our economy and security depend. What we need is to stabilize the rate of change, taking into account both the benefits and adverse effects socially.

Technology inherently moves faster than social customs and norms, while Congress is moving slower historically than historic norms, when partisan party-line views increasingly dominate deliberation.

This is what makes losing John McCain so hard. He personified the independent American qualities of character and bipartisan temperament that we need in these turbulent times. Now it’s up to us to continue the legacy that McCain left us by the way he lived both his private and public life.

Tom Murphy



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