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Just be Americans

A recent letter suggested that “liberalism” was a “cancer” and a misinterpretation of the Constitution. It characterized “liberalism” as an erroneous belief that the purpose of government is to educate, care for and protect its entire citizenry. The letter suggested that the correct interpretation of that purpose was to see to it that those able to pursue life, liberty, and happiness do so without interference.

Which begs the question: What of those who are unable?

Whether or not the Constitution defines the purpose of government in terms of stewardship is moot, since our commitment to each other as members of human society is not limited to that document. Men such as Buddha, Christ, Muhammad and Bahá’u’lláh (to name but a few) have suggested our highest calling is to care for each other – to treat even strangers as family.



I’m hopeful that the writer simply hadn’t followed his thesis to its logical conclusion: That while it’s laudable (presumably) for an individual to care for the unfortunate, a society that does so is itself sick.

Whether this is a double standard or merely political confusion, I pray that we can jettison the labels (“liberal,” “conservative”) and just be Americans.




Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Nevada City


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