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OP-ED: Facts are important

John Cash Smith

This letter is in response to Arlon Davis’s recent factless, unhinged rant against the Democratic Party in a letter that was published last week.  It smacks of Q Anon, Marjorie Taylor Green, and other ridiculous conspiracy stories that are circulating.   I don’t enjoy responding to Mr. Davis, but as the Chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, I feel that it is my responsibility to keep the record straight.  As I have said on other occasions, facts are important, and Mr. Davis doesn’t have any to support his off-the-wall conclusions.  I wish he would quit watching Fox News, read some informative books, and sign up for an American history class at Lamar State College Orange.  It’s never too late to cure ignorance.

Now to the facts:  President Biden is not senile.  It is an acknowledged fact that in today’s world, age is just a number, not an indication of a person’s competency to handle his job.  I am very sensitive to that fact, since I am older than President Biden, still actively practicing my profession, as well as being able to teach an American history class at our local college.  President Biden handles himself very well when making public statements, and his appointments of well qualified people to fill his cabinet and other posts, further show his competency.

The recent passage of the Covid 19 Relief Bill is a good example of a President who knows what he is doing and is comfortable in his own skin.  President Biden’s long experience in the Senate and Vice-President made him one of the better qualified candidates for the presidency in recent times, similar to the qualifications of George W. Bush in 1988.  In short, you may not agree with President Biden, or with the Democratic Party, but there is no question that he is capable of doing his job.  This is shown by the President’s approval ratings, which are higher than Donald Trump ever had in his four year term.

Further, Biden has broad experience in foreign policy as demonstrated by his long service as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Senate, and his Vice-Presidential experience.  We need to move on from questions about his competency, and judge him by his accomplishments.  After almost three months in office, he has done what he promised to do, and the country is already better off with Covid 19 being conquered by an efficient immunization plan, and growing rates of new jobs.  The final result remains to be seen, but so far so good.

Next, the Democratic Party is not Marxist, socialist or communist.  I doubt whether Mr. Davis actually knows what each of those terms mean, but our party can’t be all three of those at once.  The fact is that at this time the Democratic Party is the progressive party in the United States and the Republican Party is the conservative, regressive party.  No political party is perfect, but since Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1932, there is no question that the Democratic Party has done more for the middle class and the less fortunate in our country than the Republicans, who have almost always opposed change.  All you have to do is look at all of the social justice legislation that has been passed by the Democrats in the last 90 years and the almost zero passage of such laws by the Republicans.    Our country is undoubtedly better off with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the forty hour week, voting laws, Civil Rights, and many others, all of which have been opposed by the Republican Party.  Looking back, most of the social legislation proposed and passed by Democrats is now an accepted part of our political culture, and in no danger of being repealed by a Republican administration.

Another fact is that for the last 40 years, America’s great middle class has shrunk, and the underprivileged part of our population is struggling to make ends meet.  During the same time the top 1% have gotten much richer, and the top 10% have fared fairly well.  This is not a good development because history shows that countries fail when the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.   To see how that works, all you have to do is to look south of the border at several struggling Latin American countries that are doing so badly that their poor folks are converging on our borders in record numbers.

My question to Mr. Davis is if our country is so bad, how come so many people want to get in?  The fact is that in spite of all our faults, the United States of America is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, because of our advocacy for equality for all, and the American dream that no one is held back from success by class, race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

Right now, the Democratic Party is the only party that has proposals for continued progress.  At this point in history the Republican Party has reverted to curtailing democracy because they can’t win elections with white voters any more.  It has lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections.

Instead of standing in the way of progress, the Republican Party should reform, and come up with its own proposals about how we can make the American dream possible for everybody.

Finally, one last observation – the older I get the less I positively know, but there are some historical facts that are immutable, which are that the far right is always on the wrong side of history, the far left is at least twenty years ahead of history, and that our country has always been best governed from the center left or the center right, with bi-partisan compromise to move us forward toward the goals set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

Right now the country is divided, but that won’t last forever.  Demographics don’t lie.  The Republicans lost the under 30 vote by 60%-40% in the 2020 election.  All we need to do is talk to our children and grandchildren to know that a very different America is on the way and that will be a very good thing.

John Cash Smith

Chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party