The Norman Transcript

Opinion

June 28, 2013

Writer should have made arguable points

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Officers and enlisted personnel lived close to one another in similar neighborhoods. Their kids went to the same schools and everyone had good health insurance and secure employment. Nobody was getting rich and nobody was really poor. Everyone was serving their country instead of themselves. I don’t know what Mr. Melton would call it, but I call it socialism.

The world I lived in 50 years ago was a lot different than today’s world. The country’s industrial base had yet to relocate to the third world to avoid paying decent wages. Everyone seemed to be doing OK. That’s not how it is now.

I’ve just retired from a teaching career spent in mainly low-income schools. I’ve attempted to teach too many kids who were poorly clothed and fed and lacking access to decent health care. Teaching a kid who is hungry or cold or wheezing from untreated asthma because he can’t afford an inhaler is difficult.

At the school where I taught this final year, we had kids lined up every morning from the front to the back of the building for the free and reduced breakfast every morning. The government could provide a little less socialism and they could all starve, though I doubt any of us would want that. It could provide a little more socialism by lifting the minimum wage and providing single-payer health care so poorer people could actually take care of their kids. I’d like to see that.

From where I stand, the rich continue to get richer while the poor are getting poorer. I really don’t know why Mr. Melton thinks the president is a socialist. I really don’t.   

About the only thing that I could understand from Mr. Melton’s letter is that he is upset. Aren’t we all?

One of the things that frightens me the most is that the right and the left inhabit alternate conceptual worlds. We spend our energy screaming at one another across an ever widening gulf. Insults don’t communicate. They alienate. If we lower the volume, we can narrow the gulf. Then perhaps we can hear one another.

Mack Paul

 

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