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posted: 1/9/2013 5:00 AM

Paranoia fuels conservatives

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A recent letter to the Fence Post warned of the scheme to enable President Obama to win a third term. In that letter the author unknowingly revealed three destructive characteristics of the conservative movement and the conservative media that supports it.

Conservatives rely on fear, bordering on paranoia, to support their cause. The goal is to demonize liberals and to win support by spreading nonsensical fears rather than to present a logical defense of the conservative philosophy. Thus, we end up with charges about "death panels," the president's birth certificate and terms such as "Marxist" to describe his mainstream progressive positions.

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Conservatives do not understand the meaning of "socialism." Consider the Affordable Care Act, attacked by its conservative critics as "socialized medicine." It involves physicians in private practices, hospitals owned by churches and large corporations, and privately owned insurance companies, all making profits in the health care system. It does not rely on a federally owned insurance system, federally employed doctors, nor federally owned hospitals as you would expect to find in a genuine "socialist" system.

Conservatives have little concern for facts, and the conservative media is often the vehicle for the spread of blatant falsehoods. In his letter, the author claimed that the Democrats could gain control of the Congress and then "reverse the law that limits the president to two terms." There is no such law. It is a constitutional amendment that limits presidential terms. To change it would require action by the Congress plus majority votes from three-fourths of the states. That would be an impossible hurdle given the number of solid Republican states in the Union.

Conservatives would be serving the country they claim to love if they would drop the paranoia, learn the meaning of terms like "socialism," and develop an interest in facts.

Jeff Huebner

Schaumburg

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