The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 29, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-29 | It is our right to vote

— George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Adams, those familiar names of our Founding Fathers, were elected with low voter turnout, many times less than 20 percent.

The founders disliked a democracy, meant to be merely a mechanism for the peaceful selection of political officeholders, filling the U.S. Constitution with undemocratic, anti-majority-rule systems.

Replacing bullets with ballots is a good thing; still, they understood government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody.

Rome became the center of the world’s wealth through limited government, enterprise, self-reliance and a well-built republic. Subsidies for grain set in motion its welfare state, expanding it until citizens discovered that instead of working for a living they could vote for one. 

Libertarians want to make government small, ultimately because we support freedom, and keep it as America’s founders intended – limited.  Then confine it to its minimal, but essential, role: The only institution in society that can lawfully initiate force and, beyond that, leave us alone.

What’s so civic in a duty that leaves voters little choice but to pick between candidates who want to grow government, destroying those benefits from it being limited?

Perhaps 19th century economic journalist Frederic Bastiat articulated it best: “If the law were confined to its proper functions, everyone’s interest in the law would be the same. Is it not clear that, under these circumstances, those who voted could not inconvenience those who did not vote?”

Kent Lalley


Activities should be welcomed at park

Regarding the “Park upgrade” story in the Oct. 22 issue: It appears that the young man featured did a wonderful project for the community and put his heart into it.

However, the newly painted sign that was featured needs one word adjusted. It needs to say: Skateboards, bicycles, rollerblades welcome.

Dan Gresh


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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