Powers Divisive on 4th

I’ve let a few days pass since the celebration of our beloved country’s independence from England. I did not want to mark the joyous anniversary with the same divisive language our State Representative, Dennis Powers, chose to publish in his commentary for July 4th in the LaFollette Press.

What Mr. Powers did to the words of our founding fathers is the same thing many manipulative preachers do to the Gospel, indeed, to all of Holy Scripture. It’s called proof-texting. It involves lifting quotes out of context to support a present argument regardless of their original intent.

He lauds conservatives as believing the founders “had it right” without a word about what “it” was that isn’t still “it” today. He then attacks a group of fellow citizens he identifies as “today’s liberals” without saying who they are. He accuses them of trying to “dismantle our county” without saying how. I found such vitriol inappropriate to the occasion and just plain ugly.

Now, the occasion having past, I will pick up Power’s label and wear it proudly. I think of myself as one of today’s liberals. Here is my wish for our country. I want good jobs for our citizens that pay a living wage. I want quality public schools for students taught by highly educated, experienced teachers. I want higher education that is affordable for the average American family. I want affordable healthcare open to every resident. I want our government – local, state, and federal – to promote the general welfare of every American without regard to wealth, family or position. That is my “leftist agenda”. It is the agenda that built the American middle class into the greatest middle class the world has ever seen in the last century. It is the agenda that can recreate that middle class today.

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