Richard Greene

November 30, 2013

Thank you all for reading my column

It’s been three months, and some readers have strong reactions.

After three months of sharing my views with readers in this space, it’s time for some response to those who have taken the time to comment on the topics I have addressed.

With all the feedback I have received through letters to the editor, on Star-Telegram websites, via social media, email and even through the post office, there’s not enough room here to do individual replies, so I’ll try to summarize by category.

I appreciate the fact that the great majority of what I am hearing from you is supportive. Reviewing those comments, however tempting, is obviously self-serving so I will deal just with those that aren’t so flattering.

Let’s start with the most frequent criticism I receive: Some writers say my approach to the issues I address is biased. To those I confess — guilty as charged.

My weekly column appears on pages marked “Opinion,” so readers should not be looking for news coverage here. It’s part of the public discussion where you will find all kinds of points of view.

My own come from a conservative perspective and represents what I think about the issues of the day. Some have made it very clear that they see things quite differently.

Next, I’ve been accused of repeating Republican talking points and that I echo other conservatives in the media. I don’t receive any talking points from anyone, and if my views are in accord with others on the right, there’s a good explanation for that.

President Obama is attempting, as he promised, to “transform” America. I don’t believe our country — the most successful in all of human history — needs any kind of transformation.

What I think we need are leaders who will be faithful to the founding principles of our democracy that essentially are those of a limited federal power and a great amount of individual freedom and liberty for all.

While the men and women who launched this wonderful experiment in self-government got it right, we elected some modern-era leaders who also understood how it was supposed to work.

Ronald Reagan correctly declared that government is not the solution but the problem. So did John Kennedy when he urged us not to keep asking the government to do more and more.

President Obama has repeatedly declared that he would violate the essential constitutional limitations on executive authority by proceeding with his agenda without the approval of Congress. Such is the stuff of tyranny. I will continue to speak against it.

Finally, when readers respond to my views about the failures of the current liberal administration, they often repeat the now worn-out deflection of responsibility for the problems we face by blaming the former president.

It’s way past time for Democrats in the White House and in Congress to take full ownership of the stress they have brought into the lives of the nation’s citizens.

There’s little value, for instance, in readers’ arguments responding to the president’s dishonesty with his Obamacare promises by trying to divert the discussion to unrelated history.

More than a few, lacking any plausible way to defend Obama’s false claims, wanted to revisit the concocted mantra that Bush lied about worldwide acceptance of reports of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorist countries.

Bush didn’t lie about any of that. The same cannot be said of the current president’s signature initiative, now in utter chaos, that has resulted in his lowest-ever approval ratings.

Even more telling is a new CNN poll that finds more than half the country not believing he is honest and trustworthy.

The invitation to agree or disagree is always open. Without such dialog, self-government won’t work. Thank you for reading my column.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. mayorgreene@

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