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Opinion Letters

Election time is approaching and we are facing a promise gap. In 2008 when vice presidential candidate Joe Biden visited Maumee, Ohio, he berated and ridiculed the previous administration for the size of the national debt and he promised that under an Obama administration the debt would be cut. Now in his re-election year President Obama spoke to this same town with no shame that his administration has produced three consecutive trillion-dollar deficits and added over $5 trillion to the national debt. This is a 70 percent increase in debt over the past 3.5 years so that we now owe more than the entire Gross National Product.

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Your readers may be interested to know the result of petitions signed this year by hundreds of residents of Jackson, Macon, Haywood and Swain counties. These petitions called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would nullify the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United.

Most of your readers will know that the 2010 Citizens United ruling, overturning the bipartisan McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, has resulted in what we now see—vast amounts of anonymous money pouring into election campaigns. And that money being reported daily by journalists as an indication of who will win. The Citizens United 5-4 ruling giving corporations the rights of people and declaring that money is free speech has borne pretty awful fruit.

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In response to the editorial by Phillip J. Migliore in the July 12 issue of The Macon County News, I would like to ask for clarification for some of his comments. Mr. Migliore stated that his heroes growing up were “the early pioneers that made our country prosperous”…“were creators of wealth not takers.” Mr. Migliore, were you referring to the Railroad Barons that hired thugs to intimidate and kill anyone in the way of their railroad progress? Were you referring to the plantation pioneers that made black Africans into slaves to make themselves rich? Were you referring to the early pioneers that killed the natives that were here for over ten thousand years and took their land in the name of progress? That used what you called “wilderness” to sustain their very existence. Or were you referring to the Wild West that your hero John Wayne represented in Hollywood movies where there was no law and only the person with the fastest gun was right? We could go back to those times but I do not think that most Americans would like the consequences of those regressions.

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The reason why John Whitehead's latest column (Macon County News - July 12) is unlikely to be debated is because his assessment of 21st Century America is precisely (though regrettably) correct. We are, as he stated (and worth repeating) “little more than a pay to play banana republic, a plutocracy run by a powerful and corrupt oligarchy from corporate, military and political sectors.”

I believe a significant cause of why he’s right is the monopoly of a two-party system and the overabundance of ballot- access laws which allow it to exist. Though state laws vary widely they accomplish a common goal, to keep third party and potential draftees or write-in candidates off state ballots, consequently reducing the field to two, a Republican and a Democrat.

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published: 10/18/2013
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