Harmon “Buck” Buckland: It takes more than a T-shirt | SteamboatToday.com

Harmon “Buck” Buckland: It takes more than a T-shirt

Harmon "Buck" Buckland

— I read with interest Lynn Abbott’s letter to Paul Epley in Wednesday’s Steamboat Today, in which she offers to give Dr. Epley a Democrat T-shirt and makes several unfounded charges against the Bush administration. Last Sunday, the Pilot & Today published a Conservative Commentary by Dr. Epley in which he made the point we should be active in assuring Congress and courts do not establish a preferred religion and stop discrimination against Christians and Jews in the name of “Separation of Church and State.” As Rick Akin observed about her previous response to the Conservative Commentaries, Ms. Abbott is again long on platitudes and short on specifics. It tells me that Ms. Abbott believes that slogans on her T-shirts constitute a full analysis.

Who could dispute Ms. Abbott’s goals of equality, peace and security, and government integrity? Dr. Epley did not suggest otherwise. In fact, Dr. Epley did not “decry ‘advancing a social good,'” as Ms. Abbott says, he simply criticized judicial activism designed to advance the views of a judge. More importantly, however, achieving these goals involves more than slogans on a T-shirt. It involves specific and logical actions designed to achieve the specific objective – a concept that Ms. Abbott and other liberals seem to avoid at all cost. Speaking of equality, Dr. Epley did suggest an example of “hypocrisy of definitions” used by liberals to rail against the death penalty for serial rapist-murders while advocating the murder of unborn “masses of fetal tissue.”

Ms. Abbot’s letter is similar to the emotional and nonspecific commentary in last Sunday’s paper by Murray Tucker. I wonder if their avoidance of specifics is intentional. I suggest that it is. At a recent presentation by Dean Westen to the Democrats’ “Take Back America” conference, Dr. Westen’s told the Democrats they should avoid all facts and figures and focus entirely on emotional appeals. This is a scary proposition and brings to mind the words of Thomas Jefferson, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

So, Ms. Abbott, let’s ignore the advice of your party’s consultant and look instead to the words of your party’s alleged founder. Let’s have a discussion of the specifics. For instance:

– Why is it proper for the University of Michigan-Dearborn to use taxpayer funds to install Muslim foot baths as a religious accommodation while activities of Christian groups are limited?

– How have the actions of the Bush administration curbed civil liberties in any way that the actions of Franklin Roosevelt did not?

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– Why is it OK for Bill Clinton to fire U.S. Attorneys but improper for George Bush to do so?

– How has the Patriot Act (which passed the Senate with only one dissenting vote) abridged your liberties? (Aren’t some of those senators Democrats?)

– Other than ever-expanding government, how do you perceive that you are advancing social good?

– As far as your suggested negotiations, Sheik Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, recently said, “Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one.” Is he one of the folks you want to negotiate with? (I suggest that you review the success of Neville Chamberlain, who attempted to negotiate “Peace in our Time” with Adolf Hitler.)

What we need is real analysis, not repetition of slogans, mindless rhetoric, and mythology. I cannot speak for Dr. Epley, but as for me, you can keep your T-shirt.

Buck Buckland is a longtime resident of Steamboat, a director of the Yampa Valley Citizens for Common Sense, a member of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado and the Heritage Foundation, the former chairman of the Routt County Republican Party, and a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force.