Not That Party - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1670695

Not That Party

In his recent letter, reader Ed Surgan has made some statements that cannot go unanswered [“Doesn’t Hold Water,” Letters, January 9]. The most outrageous of these is that Democrats have “a socialist, anti-American agenda” and have “abandoned their working-class identity.”

Attacking the patriotism of one’s opponents is something you see in banana republics and dictatorships and has no place in American politics. We Americans are better than that.

As for caring about working-class people, one political party wants to protect hardworking Americans from financial ruin by offering them affordable health care. One party wants to protect workers’ rights to bargain collectively. One party wants to ensure that our lowest-paid workers receive a livable wage. One party wants billionaires and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes just like the rest of us.

That party is not the party of Trump.

On another note, Mr. Surgan criticizes the opposition’s “extremist environmental policies.” I don’t think our local citizens whose wells have been contaminated by PFAS would consider protecting our groundwater from such chemicals as extremist. Yet, the White House announced recently that it plans to veto the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which aims to keep harmful “forever chemicals” out of our groundwater.

That, I would characterize as extremist.

As for Mr. Surgan’s assertion that Democrats want to open our borders and ban fossil fuels, I can only say that he is taking hyperbole to new levels. Climate change is an existential threat to our country and our world. Addressing it will mean we will have to rely more on alternative energy sources. As these sources become cheaper, our reliance on fossil fuels will diminish. An enlightened national energy policy would encourage markets to make the switch. Instead, we have a president who denies science and claims that climate change is a hoax.

Regarding borders, the Democratic Party has never endorsed open borders. We are for sensible immigration reform, which would maintain secure borders, treat immigrants humanely, and assist countries such as Honduras and El Salvador in developing safe societies where their citizens can thrive and where they would wish to remain.

On the impeachment issue, all I can say is that, like the majority of Americans, I believe that a sitting president putting his personal interests ahead of our nation’s security by withholding military assistance to an ally currently at war with our No. 1 adversary is indeed an impeachable offense.

And one last picky item before I run up against The Press’s word limit: The name of the party Mr. Surgan holds so much disdain for is the “Democratic Party.” Not the “Democrat Party.”

John Neely

Westhampton Beach


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