Careful Tinkering

You recently ran an article about how ET is so GOP, and how that is not a good thing. ["Republicans: Choose Life," The Hill to the Hills by Frank N. Carlson, March 26, 2009] The writer made some good points for his side. But I think there is a big picture we need to keep in mind. I hope both sides show some willingness to work towards some common goals that America has, traditionally, been built on.

America is the land of opportunity, not entitlement. We are not entitled to a good job. But good government helps everyone have a chance for a good job. That means working hard to achieve your goals, but even then there are no guarantees. There are too many variables. If you lose your job, get training for another, if necessary. I have had to do it several times.

Also, America needs to take responsibility to protect the environment and to address social injustices. But we must have a balance. The job of government is watchdog, not boss. Police, not replace. After the Crash of 1929, the government put more safeguard rules on the stock market. It didn't do away with it. American Capitalism is the greatest machine for jobs and prosperity perhaps that ever was. Too much government intervention and programs will kill the golden goose. It is tempting to want to tinker, but history has shown that too much government intervention doesn't really work all that well. I'm reluctantly in favor of national health care, but I have no illusions that it will work well. It will only allow more to get poorer care, but at least they will get it.

So let the Democrats try some tinkering, and let the Republicans be the critics for awhile. That's the way democracy works. Just be careful with your tinkering, for God's sake.

Bob Denison, Knoxville