After reading the My Turn column by Sal Meglio "Who are the real kings here?“ (which ran in the paper on Friday, June 5) I feel compelled to address certain inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and conclusions made therein.
The author commences with a reference to “their (the Democrats) political arm, the liberal media.” This has become tiresome. Since when did “liberal” become a pejorative anyway? The “media“ encompasses a broad spectrum of opinion, ranging from ultra-conservative to ultra-liberal. This is as it should be, as it is healthy for public discourse.
He calls the Democrats hypocrites for accusing President Trump of being “racist” for banning travel from China on January 31, yet criticizing him for not acting “swiftly or strongly enough against the Chinese.“ As I recall, the Democrat’s main criticism was that his action was too late and incomplete, not that it was racist. First, The first confirmed US case of COVID-19 was on January 21, over a week before. Second, the ban only applied to Chinese nationals, not Americans returning from China.
Meanwhile Trump was repeatedly praising Chinese President Xi on Twitter and in interviews. Now he is “tough on China.“ Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Then comes the matter of the Strategic National Stockpile of medical and pharmaceutical materials, which he erroneously credits to President G. W. Bush’s administration. It originated in 1998 under President Clinton and was called the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile until it was renamed under the Bush administration in 2003. He is correct that the Obama administration tried and failed to restock the stockpile with ventilators. However, the same could be said of the Trump administration, which as far as I know did not even try.
A long diatribe follows about President Franklin Roosevelt creating social security, probably the single most popular government program in existence. Evidently the fact that FDR created (with the support of the Congress) a program that compels a portion of every paycheck to support the aged made him a tyrant. The writer claims that in doing this FDR did ‘turn over our right, to decide our future, to the government.” Rubbish. No rights were curtailed, and no restrictions were laid on our decision making in this regard. Perhaps he feels that it is an un-American act to compel us to meet an evident need. To be consistent, he should then protest all taxes.
Finally, we come to his lambasting of President Obama, first for creating DACA and then for the Iran nuclear treaty. These represent an attempt by a sitting president to help people who were immigrants through no fault of their own and a stab at creating a treaty to curtail nuclear proliferation in another country. These seem legitimate and reasonable actions for a president to take, not a power grab. They were certainly more constructive than what this administration has been doing, which is backing out of established treaties without offering anything by way of replacement (just like Trump’s approach to the Affordable Care Act) and attempting to build a wall that will not work. The writer ends by stating that if Obama’s first three years were like Trump’s he would have been proclaimed “the greatest president ever.“ He is wrong. It would have rather condemned Obama to only one administration.
Michael Roth, East Stroudsburg.
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