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Editor of the Reformer:

I was born in the early ‘50s. As far back as I can remember, there has been the specter of communism — socialism lurking in the shadows. We called each other “commie-pinkos” on the playground. Our new ‘60s house had a flimsy bomb shelter built in the basement just in case that Soviet threat proved real. We played in it.

In this last election, socialism was once again used over and over as a fear tactic weapon to keep Americans voting for what “keeps America great.”

There has been a lot of resistance in the Republican Party to the proposition of increasing the second wave of economic stimulus in the form of each citizen receiving $2,000 because it would increase our national debt. (Personally, I feel that the money should not go to everyone, but rather only to the many who are in dire need. I can personally reallocate money given to me to help others in my community). Giving the tax money to people in need is indeed a socialistic activity.

Most of us remember George W. Bush announcing “Mission Accomplished” in regard to the war in Iraq. We also remember the “weapons of mass destruction” lie that instigated the death of somewhere between 151,000 “violent deaths” to 1,033,000 “excess deaths” of Iraqi citizens depending upon whose survey you read. That’s striking in comparison to the 4,424 total American deaths recorded by the U.S Dept. of Defense. (Maybe we were the ones with weapons of mass destruction?) The most conservative cost of the Iraqi war listed by the same agency states the cost as $757.8 billion not counting the cost at home in its aftermath. Shall we mention PTSD to many involved and the toxic, deserted land and infrastructure left behind to the Iraqis who weren’t massacred.

I believe that we should turn our eyes and hearts to our homeland — take care of our own people’s needs. How easy it is to forget that Republican-led leadership arrogantly threw massive military resources at Iraq, a country whose people we were clueless about. Now in this time of urgent need, can’t we curb the bravura of global dominance and find the clues necessary to help our own people survive this devastating pandemic as well as figure out what is dividing us?

I guess that makes me a socialist, commie-pinko, liberal.

T Breeze Verdant

Williamsville, Jan. 17

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