Vail Daily letter: No conservative myth

Sunday’s commentary “‘Self-made person’ myth persists among the GOP” deserves feedback. Like many liberals, Rev. Dr. Jack Van Ens fabricates something absurd about conservative beliefs and then treats the fabrication as truth, only to bask in the satisfaction of having defeated the absurdity. Wow, reverend doctor, how quixotic; another day, another windmill defeated!

True, conservatives believe in rugged individualism, hard work, risk management and the free market. But the reverend doctor uses distortion to have the reader understand that conservatives also believe:

• The federal government plays no role in the success of individuals.

• Success is guaranteed for all who follow the conservative creed.

The reverend doctor invents these absolutes to create the absurdity. He plays with the truth and accuses conservatives of deluding themselves for such beliefs. But neither is a tenet of conservatism.

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The reverend doctor goes on to belittle Ronald Reagan’s message that big government gets in the way of citizens achieving the American dream. He postulates that historic evidence moves in the opposite direction. For support, he cites several examples of government acting in war and in interstate commerce, as if Ronald Reagan, or any conservative for that matter, talks against federal government action in such situations.

Funny how the reverend doctor fails to mention such federal government-funded programs as:

• The Cowboy Poetry Festival.

• Studying the effects of Swedish massage on rabbits.

• Studying whether mothers love dogs as much as they love kids.

• Development of a smartphone game called “Kiddio: Food Fight.”

• Teaching mountain lions to walk on treadmills.

• Development of a harbor and an airport for a town with no roads and 75 residents.

• The Hawaii Chocolate Festival.

Neither does the reverend doctor mention how the Great Society and its progeny have fostered the proliferation of single-parent families and dead-beat dads, while making millions ($47 million on food stamps alone) dependent on government. Study the record: The more government has spent to eradicate poverty, the more impoverished our country has become. Similarly, the cost of education at all levels has skyrocketed as the federal government has inserted itself and spent more and more on education. Simultaneously, our country’s student achievement scores have drifted lower on the world stage. These are a few examples of the many needless intrusions of federal government into private life, all done at the unaffordable expense of generations to come.

Reverend doctor, there’s no conservative myth being spun, except in your imagination. Our founders did believe in a limited government; one that addresses issues like those you cite. But our founders also knew society could handle welfare and poetry festivals without federal government intrusion, and do it better. Certainly Presbyterians can do charity without big government intervention. Right?

Your bio states that your ministry enhances Christianity through dynamic storytelling and dramatic presentations to make God’s history come alive. Your commentary says, “A storyteller spins a yarn and plays with the truth.” I pray your dynamic storytelling of God’s history is more respectful of His truths than the storytelling in your commentary respects conservatism’s truths.

Michael Kaddatz

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