Editor's Note: We feature a point/counterpoint in the weeks leading up to the election. This is the first in that series.
By Lynn Reichenau, Mason County Democratic Party Chair
First of all, I want to thank Gerald for presenting this forum for our local Democratic and Republican Parties. This is a great way for us to share our views with the readers of the Mason County News.
It is a pleasure to talk about the role government plays in our private, business and social life because we are all affected by the government whether we want to be or not. I just want to point out some of the many ways our local, state and federal governments assist in making our lives better, stronger and safer.
I have been involved in agriculture production all my life and am convinced there is no better way to live. The history of the federal government involvement in agriculture goes way back. In 1934 President Roosevelt and the Democratic Party passed the Agricultural Assistance Act or Triple A as it became known. All the programs that have come to be since then have just been amendments to that first legislation.
To say that many if not all of us here in Mason County have enjoyed the benefits of these federal programs is an understatement. I will list only a few of them – soil and water conservation, wool and mohair incentives, peanut programs, drought and disaster relief, and feed programs. Thanks to the availability of these and many others we have been able to survive and (in some wetter years) flourish. Although there are many people in Mason who despise and denigrate the existence of farm and ranch aid, Mason County has always actively participated in and received the benefits of these programs. We must realize that it is with the assistance of our government that this country can continue to enjoy the safest, most dependable and cheapest food in the world.
Besides agriculture, other aspects of our life are greatly impacted by government. Our public schools are driven by local, state and federal edicts and funds. Here in Mason we enjoy the very best of what public schools can offer. Just take a minute to read the new signs on the roads into town to see the achievements of our students. But those signs don’t tell the whole story. Credit must be given to the wonderful, superior, dedicated staff that is employed by Mason ISD.
The list of ways our governments play a role in our lives goes on and on but I better not get too long-winded. Mason enjoys government funded housing, Senior Citizen programs, health care, Social Security, and so much more. Never forget our military. And please remember that when you demean or vilify our President, you are referring to their Commander and Chief who they are pledged to honor, obey and respect. I can’t close without mentioning police, firefighters, and other first responders – none of which would exist without our governments playing an active and vital role.
So it is apparent that everyone who enjoys life in this county is affected by the role government plays in our lives. Whether or not we like what the government does is usually determined by whether or not it benefits us. When governments offend, disappoint, or anger us, often it is because we are not benefiting but someone else probably is. Democracy is based on compromise, give and take. It is my hope and prayer that we can and always will do that.
By Robert Owens, Mason County Republican Chair, and Jerrie Owens
At no other time in history is the difference between Republican and Democrats been so apparent. The division seems to be getting greater every day.
Republicans believe in the right of the individual with very little intrusion by the federal government and that our country functions best when the power rest with the states. The Democrats believe in a large central government with power over almost every aspect of our lives. Concerning our private lives: the Democrats believe in a government control health care. Republicans believe in competition between insurance companies, like being able to cross state lines to buy insurance and also believe in tort reform.
Under Democrat rule businesses are subject to stringent regulation. One example being the EPA, under which there are so many regulations that many businesses have been crippled. Republicans believe in the free enterprise system where American ingenuity can be released free from such control. That we are best when the government gets out of the way.
It is with the social issues that things have gotten misconstrued. Republicans do not want to legislate what people do in their private lives. They understand that each one of us have a right to live their lives without intrusion as long as it does not deny anyone else their right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
But a government should not govern with a narrow mindset just to appease a portion of our population. We are a country of laws and we should remember that our Constitution is the foundation of this nation.
Sadly, right now in our country, there is a growing resentment directed at people who call themselves Christians. I would hope that Republicans and Democrats alike would agree that this not good for our country. For someone to demand their rights should not mean another would lose theirs.