Editor, Daily Press:

I'd like to thank Bob McQuitty for his Readers' Forum contribution of Dec. 12, in which he agrees to my assertion that Democrats are socialists, but certainly not, he claims, communist-leaning.

Even though I am only a little younger than Bob' s 74 or so, and haven't been around all the past 100 years to pay attention to history, I am able to make the observation that America is becoming a socialist nation; that this socialist concept originated with Karl Marx; and that Louis Blanc gave it the slogan, "from each his ability to each his need." It' s been advancing for the past 100 years under the aegis of "progressivism."

Bob relies heavily on Johns Hopkins University Professor Michael Mandelbaum's liberal writings promoting welfare benefits to compensate and protect citizens from "the injuries that free markets inevitably inflict," to make his argument. Bob further quotes Mandelbaum: "Efforts to expand the welfare state count as ' progressive' -- that is, they promote political and social change."

This concept evolves from socialist Democrats' reading of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, the New Deal, the Wagner Act, the Supreme Court's misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause, and The Great Society. They gleefully claim socialism is progressive, and they are right -- it is progressive, like terminal cancer!

The socialist components of Democrats' progressivism are the cause of the cultural divide in America today. People like Bob think this proposition preposterous -- what possible reasons could anyone oppose old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, health care benefits, tax the rich and the multitude of socialistic advances?

I'll tell you why: Socialism sucks the soul out of America. It takes our freedoms. It is totalitarian. It perpetuates injustice. It discourages individuality. It violates the rule of law, and because of its progressive tax, equal treatment under the law. It devalues commerce, drains wealth and confiscates disposable income, which will eventually kill charity. It destroys incentive and weakens the ethic of reward for effort. It attenuates consequences and accountability and undermines personal responsibility. It creates dependence upon government, and thus empowers the socialist Democrats.

It is a philosophy that violates the human spirit, makes people automatons, attenuates will and seeks to sink us into one dull, gray, subservient average. The socialists' philosophy of "level the playing field," as applied to our educational system, does not bring it up to a level of excellence, but instead down to a level of mediocrity.

A final thought: If "Medical services in the U.S. lag behind those of virtually every developed democracy," an assertion I humbly challenge Mr. McQuitty to properly document, that is because of the "progressive" tendencies of our government to provide health care to all, regardless of ability to pay, nationality, legal residency status, etc. Socialism is not the answer here. Individual responsibility is! Medical savings accounts and eligibility rules are necessary solutions.

Orel C. Dugger

Tahlequah

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