Editor, Daily Nexus:
Looking at the May 1 opinion section, I couldn’t help but be alarmed by the amount of material written by UCSB’s own branch of the College Republicans. While I have no problem with the College Republicans having their say, I do not agree with the tactics they used persuade people to see issues their way.
In Gordon Silliker’s letter (Reader’s Voice, “U.S. Missile Shield Is Best Protection From Attack”), the primary mode of persuasion is fear and ignorance. Silliker tries to get students to support President Bush’s missile shield, which is basically a revival of former President Reagan’s “Star Wars” project. What was wrong with Reagan’s plan is essentially what is still wrong with Bush’s plan: All the experts say it won’t work. The real reason for the construction of such a defense program is to placate workers at Lockheed and other weapons contractors who generally vote Republican. Silliker uses fear tactics to convince people to see things his way. He manages to break down international relations into a five-paragraph manifesto of people endlessly trying to blow each other up. It’s a thought that I find ill-conceived and juvenile.
More offensive than this was Martin Doyle’s letter about President Bush’s tax plan (Reader’s Voice, “Rich or Poor, Bush’s Tax Plan Collects Fair Dues”). Doyle makes a contradiction in his effort to correct Ivan Perez’s “ignorance of the tax code” (Reader’s Voice, “The Rich Can Afford to Bear the Brunt of Taxes,” April 30). I don’t understand how a family of 4.3 people that pays no taxes can get a tax credit. Perhaps Doyle is using “fuzzy math.”
Doyle uses an exclusionary tone and solution in his recommendation for those who don’t agree with American fiscal policy. He suggests that people who don’t agree with our version of capitalism move to Sweden. Doyle misses the beauty of the American political system; it is one of change. In America, people have the inalienable right to fight for what they believe to be true. If people have fundamental problems with either capitalism or socialism then they have the right not only to voice their opinions but also to try to implement what they believe to be correct. This is the true nature of liberty.
Doyle was recently appointed to Associated Students Legislative Council. It is unfortunate that, in his letter, Doyle writes, “This is America, and we pay people what the market says they are worth.” In his new position, Doyle is supposed to represent all students who live off campus. How will he be able to represent students from economically disadvantaged households equally when middle-class and wealthy students are worth more in this market economy that he praises? I don’t believe he can.