Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Primary election post-mortem

This is a letter sent to the Bucks County Intelligencer on May 17th. I doubt they will publish it.

To the Editor:

Well. The primary election is over, and incumbents across the state have been thrown out of office. Here in Bucks County, Patrick Murphy has won the Democratic primary by a two to one margin over Andy Warren, despite the Intelligencer’s ill-considered endorsement.

What is more telling, though, is the reaction from Mike Fitzpatrick published in the Intelligencer the very morning after the election. Not the usual “congratulations” and “looking forward to a good debate”, instead Mike immediately launches into the usual name-calling and labeling which have become the standard of the republican national party. Mr. Fitzpatrick likes to consider himself independent – it would be good to see him be independent of his party’s national attack politics. A “Cut-and-Run Liberal”? Please, Mr Fitzpatrick, I will value the opinions of someone who served in Iraq, training the Iraqi’s to run their own military and government and earning a bronze star in the process, over someone went over there on the government’s money for a weekend photo-op, and only after learning who his election opponent might be.

“Immoderate liberalism”? There are many of us who believe that “liberal” is not a dirty word. It means care for our community and nation rather than executives of ExxonMobil. It means not only mouthing words about educational reform, but actually making it possible by funding whatever programs you mandate. It means caring that our country has the fourth-worst infant mortality rate in the developed world, rather trying to repeal a woman’s right to control her own body.

The simple truth is that Mr. Fitzpatrick’s support of the current president, when he has really required it, has made him complicit in the unnecessary deaths of 2447 brave Americans like Patrick Murphy who actually have the courage of their convictions, and the maiming of 18,000 more. While the republicans don’t seem to notice, we should also mention the deaths of 40,000 or so innocent Iraq civilians, all someone’s mother, brother, son, daughter, or father. When Mr. Fitzpatrick chooses to put his life on the line for this country, I will give some weight to his use of the term “Cut and Run Liberal.” In the meantime, the honest citizens of this county, at least, will not allow the Swift-Boating of a true American.

In the run-up to the general election, Mr. Fitzpatrick might take the opportunity to learn of our constitution from someone chosen to teach it to our West Point cadets. He might also take the time to study with Miss Manners to learn courtesy. Mr. Fitzpatrick likes to attend Boy Scout Eagle ceremonies. I would remind him that the fifth and tenth points of the scout law have not been rescinded.

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