Letters to the Editor

Letters: War on poverty was a bust; Readers challenge several local columnists

President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Tom Fletcher’s house in Martin County in 1964. Johnson declared a war on poverty that day that led to trillions of dollars in federal spending, largely through benefits programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, public housing and food stamps.
President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Tom Fletcher’s house in Martin County in 1964. Johnson declared a war on poverty that day that led to trillions of dollars in federal spending, largely through benefits programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, public housing and food stamps. Bettmann/CORBIS

Our war on prosperity

I was a teenager at the time of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, so politics and critical thinking were not particularly important to me. I paid little attention to Johnson’s photo op depicting him standing on a front porch in Eastern Kentucky announcing his plan to rid the United States of poverty.

What finally got my attention was a black friend who lived in a predominantly black neighborhood. She told my mom that, shockingly, young unmarried girls in her neighborhood were intentionally getting pregnant (not something we strived for in the 1960s) to receive a monthly government check. Amazingly, the more children you had, the more money you made. Having children you could not afford to feed, house and clothe became a career choice.

Now we are generations beyond that wonderful government program. How has it worked out? Many more children are born without a dad in the home. Generation after generation have no one to model how hard work gets you through life, and have hatred for those who are better off because they were raised with the expectation that they will get an education, work and not bring children into the world they cannot feed.

Pat Nussbaum

Nicholasville

Words, choices matter

One commentary writer recently rejected the use of “pro-abortion” to designate what she insisted was “pro-choice.” It seems to me that choosing to abort a baby makes the action pro-abortion.

If this difference of semantics were about something banal, like choosing to eat a banana, then the use of “choice” would not be important. But when the choice is between whether or not to eliminate another human being, the matter becomes deadly important.

Sanitizing this process by calling it “pro-choice” is simply to dodge this cosmic point.

Paul David Nelson

Lexington

Want to get really mad?

Well, Herald-Leader community columnist Jim Brutsman has done a great public service by announcing that he ain’t gonna take it any more. You can almost hear Twisted Sister blasting in the background of his recent opinion piece. He doesn’t like President Donald Trump, he doesn’t like Sen. Mitch McConnell and he sure doesn’t like anyone wearing a red MAGA hat. And he’s not gonna take it any more.

Therefore, in honor of his fragile feelings, I vow to, from this moment on, wear only a white MAGA hat. Besides, that white MAGA hat will camouflage the snowflakes that land on the hat this winter and melt with prolonged agony. Have courage, Brutsman.

Dave Rosenbaum

Lexington

Government’s real vows

I find Richard Dawahare’s guest commentaries entertaining reads, but I was perplexed as to how an attorney like Dawahare, who knows context well from studying the law, could take the preamble to the Constitution, slice out the phrase “promote the general welfare,” and claim that phrase is the “true promise of government.”

The entire preamble embodies what our founding fathers saw as the hope and promise of this country. Establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing a common defense and securing the blessings of liberty are all the “true promise of government as well.” How we do that is the subject of debate.

Dawahare demonizes the Republicans for insisting the poor and disadvantaged get a hand up, not a handout. By creating a welfare state, the Democrats ensure electability and power because the masses will always vote for those who keep the checks rolling.

Under President Donald Trump, we have finally funded our military adequately. Under Trump, we don’t have North Korea testing missiles every week. Under Trump, we finally have a Supreme Court that will strictly interpret the Constitution instead of legislating from the bench.

I personally love this tried-and-true promise of government.

Jimmy Boling

Lexington

Lake of fire awaits…

I’m writing in response to a commentary by Mike Rivage-Seul about the Catholic Church. How can any person, no matter how much he hates President Donald Trump, have the heart to compare the evil that was done to 1,000 children to Trump’s tweets?

Moses’ brother Aaron was ordained by God to be the first priest. His son Eleazar became priest when Aaron died.

The problem is that all of the priests and a lot of church-going people haven’t had a personal one-on-one experience with God. I met Jesus 47 years ago when he came into my heart as I sat in the cab of my dad’s old work truck.

It won’t be long until he that shall come will come, and “the dead in Christ shall rise first.” We will go to heaven, and the priests who don’t know him and all unbelievers shall be cast into a lake of fire and suffer throughout eternity.

Marvin McFaddin

Paintsville

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