Mr Duffy’s Extremist And Reactionary View

To the Editor:

I am disappointed to see that The Bee has chosen to elevate Mr Brendan Duffy’s January letter [Letter Hive, 1/11/13, “Elected Officials Are Fundamentally Dishonest”] for praise. His is an extremist and reactionary view. There is nothing patriotic about threatening to take up arms to overthrow a democratically elected government. If you believe that our government needs restructuring, then you elect people who demand it. If you think the courts are making destructive decisions, you choose presidents and governors who appoint the justices and judges who won’t. If you don’t like the decisions of our elected officials, you vote them out. If you can’t, it is because the majority of Americans are on board with those decisions. I am proud of our system, and not all elected officials are “fundamentally dishonest.” What makes our nation great is our devotion to democracy, individual rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. Democracy is impeded when free speech is limited. Free speech is not only limited by governments, it is also limited by angry gun toting extremists.

Let’s take a look at some growing trends and movements that Mr Duffy’s letter brings to mind: reactionaries claim that the moral decadence of liberals is destroying the nation; paramilitary groups form and drill for action against a perceived enemy (internal or external); a growing belief that the leaders are secretly determined to destroy the nation and betray its people; lies and propaganda being embraced by the masses as truth; political polarization so ponderous that centrists are attacked by both left and right. Sound familiar? This is actually a description of Germany in the early 1930s. It describes the vortex of historical forces that brought down the democratically elected Weimar Republic and replaced it with Adolf Hitler.

The lesson from history is this: polarization is the enemy. Anger and fear interfere with rational thought. Rational thought is what unites us, while angry political rhetoric divides us. The one side’s angry fear-driven venom causes the other side to recoil and there is no meaningful dialogue. If many masses of people have come to the rational conclusion that the Second Amendment should protect the right to buy high capacity magazines and assault rifles, the other side should listen carefully to them and try to follow their train of thought. But, by the same token, if masses of people have used their rational faculties to come to the conclusion that a women’s right to an abortion should be protected, they too should be listened to with an empathetic ear.

I have no political opinions to express, I want only for you to understand this: Anger and fear motivate the extremists to shout very loudly. We who understand the danger in their message need to be just as passionate in speaking out against extremists of any variety and speaking in favor of common sense, respectful dialogue, and a measured devotion to the common good. Ranting and raving is easy. Anyone can do it. Careful investigation and rational discourse takes a cool head and a lot of work. Too bad it doesn’t usually make the headlines.

Randi Allen Kiely

18 Botsford Hill Road, Newtown    March 27, 2013

More stories like this: Duffy, Second Amendment


A Response to Ms. Kiely

Wow, that was a brilliant response!

A Response to Ms. Kiely

Ms. Keily:

If I’ve identified you correctly, I had the pleasure of getting to know your parents some a few years back. I found your parents warm engaging folks, your father particularly brilliant. It appears I’m off to a much rockier start with you. Perhaps I can explain my view point some and improve my standing.

If you read my letter to The Bee, you’ll see I make no threat to overthrow anyone. You perhaps have inferred I feel threatened, and will take up arms to defend my family and myself. I truly believe it is as likely I will need those arms to defend myself against resources of the state or federal government as that I will need to defend myself against a home intruder. Both are very unlikely occurrences, I hope neither occurs.

I no longer trust a government severely lacking in honesty, discipline and morals. Progressivism, the modern liberal movement is the most corrosive force in this country in my lifetime. It has eroded personal liberty, compromised individual motivation, rewarded moral decadence and created generations of dependency. There is no room for compromise with progressivism…compromise has gotten us where we are. We continue to compromise with progressives and we accelerate our demise. If you find that reactionary and extremist, OK, I'll wear that as a badge.

I choose candidates very thoughtfully and very deliberately. I expect them to carry out their duties on behalf of the people they represent and in defense of the US Constitution, as their oath requires. I find this is often not the case. Your crash course instruction on how to effect political change is appreciated. However, when faced with a decades long spiral into cultural and economic decay, your approach is sorely inadequate. Surely the voting booth is among an educated voter’s strongest political tools, but in the eleventh hour (and I surely believe this country is in its eleventh hour), more horsepower is needed. My sole resource for additional horsepower is my laptop. I assure you, you and everyone else are no more constrained by my exercising my God given right to own firearms and to write about it than am I constrained by your implying I am an angry, gun-toting extremist. Our email exchange bears witness to that.

It matters not to me how many people feel it is morally acceptable to inject a needle into the back of the skull of an unborn human baby boy or girl, terminating the life of that unborn baby boy or girl. This has always been morally wrong and always will be. God has given that baby boy or girl a right to life, and no earthly being is authorized to override it. It is murder. The doctors who perform this act should be prosecuted for murder, the mothers who assist them prosecuted as accomplices. But of course that’s not presently feasible, as in 1973, five Supreme Court Justices made up words…they found a right to privacy in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Where did they find it? Don’t look too hard…it’s not there…they made it up. Don’t take my word for it, the following 3 paragraphs are an excerpt from Chief Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade:

1. The fact that a majority of the States reflecting, after all, the majority sentiment in those States, have had restrictions on abortions for at least a century is a strong indication, it seems to me, that the asserted right to an abortion is not "so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental," Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105 (1934). Even today, when society's views on abortion are changing, the very existence of the debate is evidence that the "right" to an abortion is not so universally accepted as the appellant would have us believe.

2. To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. Conn. Stat., Tit. 20, §§ 14, 16. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. 1 While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today. 2 Indeed, the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857 and "has remained substantially unchanged to the present time." Ante, at 119.

3. There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted. The only conclusion possible from this history is that the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter.

As you've labelled me an extremist, surely you'll join me in applying that same label to folks who murder unborn children, correct?

I don't share your focus on anger and fear, contrary to what you have stated. In my humble opinion, your mental powers should be directed at the use of logic to the exclusion of emotion in the pursuit of sound policy in support of the US Constitution.

My best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy Easter.


Brendan Duffy

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