Do individual rights override rights of others?

Dear Mr. Drager:

I found your March 13 guest opinion ("States need to take rights back from rogue federal government") to be interesting, if somewhat disconcerting. In spite of the fact that the word democracy is not found in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence (if that is accurate), the kind of government which we have is defined as a representative democracy.

It also concerns me that you feel that Oregon should maintain a conservative legislative direction and political perspective, because the majority Democratic population was not born here (if that is accurate). I was born and raised in Southern California at a time when the majority of the population was from other states. Migration is a fact of life. It has been going on for the 200,000 years that the human race has been in existence. Remember how our ancestors came here from Europe to escape the tyranny of a state religion, and then killed off most of the native population in less than 250 years? We are the United States of America! In spite of state's rights, we are not 50 different freewheeling states that can do whatever we want.

These individual rights of which you feel we are being deprived — do they include the right to destroy the environment or to disregard the rights of our neighbors? Do they include the right of corporations to go unregulated, pay almost no taxes, ship jobs overseas and engage in the greed and corruption which led to our current disaster?

President Obama has inherited the largest mess since the Great Depression. He is taking an approach similar to the New Deal, which was implemented after two and a half years of Republican President Herbert Hoover doing nothing. It, along with one of its components, the G.I. Bill, created the Great American Middle Class and the ability of returning soldiers, sailors and marines to become the first members of their families to go to college or buy a home. In spite of this, you have decided after less than two months that President Obama, a brilliant man, is taking us down the same "disastrous" path as his dubious predecessor.

Keep in mind that our current situation is the result of eight years of an inept administration, two very expensive and unnecessary wars which we were led into based on lies, a corporate culture of greed and corruption, ranging from Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling to Bernie Madoff, economic policies first implemented by Ronald Reagan and extreme abuses of power by every Republican administration since Reagan's inauguration. You might also want to avoid Ayn Rand novels — for they are only novels.

Ed Dillon has lived in Ashland since 2001. He has always enjoyed writing and expressing political opinions.

Share This Story