Democracy needs more critical thought

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Recently I read two pieces in the April 29 Gazette which stand in stark contrast — one by an area teacher, Suzanne Schuffert, and the other by a senior editor at National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru (“Why aren’t liberals outraged about Alfie Evans case?”).Ms. Schuffert’s is the far superior work. She argues that: “Not all learning happens at a desk,” and she clearly defended student protests as growing out of accepted social values, concern for their safety and a right under the First Amendment to speak out. They shouldn’t be labeled political, but value-based and part of critical thinking which is useful in a democratic society.By contrast, Mr. Ponnuru ruined an otherwise good column by not stopping when he made his point which a columnist of his stature should have done. His column noted that the British state appeared to be reacting in an irrational and nearly incomprehensible way against an innocent citizen.Enough said. But he went on to quote The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, and cast divisiveness by labeling those with one persuasion as social conservatives and asked why liberals aren’t horrified as well. This muddled his argument that all people should be appalled when any government actions overstep deeply held values for life, liberty, parental authority and rational choice for the welfare of their children.That’s the stuff of authoritarianism and dictatorship. It’s not conservatives and liberals we should fear, but irrational thinkers and powerf-mongers especially, when they co-opt our governments to pervert democracy that has been so hard-earned.Betty PieperScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img