Letters to the Editor, July 16, 2019

Thanks

I think we should says thanks to Bob Irvine and the Macedonia Odd Fellows Lodge for the great care they give to the cemetery. It is a very old cemetery and it is probably one of the best kept ones in Bradford County. Drive out Route 187 and take a look. It is beautiful with all the yellow daylilies in bloom. As terrible as things are in this country right now it is nice to know that there are people who actually care!

Thank you Odd Fellows.

Margaret Dell

Towanda

Noncitizen rights and socialism

I know that Ken Cooke can be gracious when corrected: He once thanked me here for correcting a factual error in one of his letters. I trust he will also graciously accept my corrections now to his letter of July 12.

Contrary to Mr. Cooke’s claims, noncitizens are not allowed to vote, and there is no effort to change that. If allowing 18-year-olds to vote required passage of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, the change Mr. Cooke fears would also require an amendment. That’s not going to happen.

Yes, 12 states and the District of Columbia let undocumented immigrants obtain driver’s licenses, and eight other states are considering such legislation. The reasoning is that this helps ensure that drivers have passed driving tests, that they have obtained proper insurance, that they will not flee the scene of an accident, and that they will cooperate with the police. However, a driver’s license does not allow these noncitizens to vote.

Undocumented immigrants cannot obtain Social Security benefits (nor other federal benefits). However, noncitizens who are here legally, and who have contributed to Social Security through employment, can receive those benefits. That’s not giving them something for free; they paid into the system, just as we citizens have.

Governments of all types provide various benefits for their citizens; that doesn’t determine whether they are socialist. As commonly defined, socialist governments are those that own and control industry. No one is suggesting that for our country — not even Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a Democratic Socialist.

The question is: What benefits should our government provide its citizens, and how will we pay for them? Mr. Cooke and others do a disservice to this important national debate whenever they reflexively attack Democratic proposals with the incorrect and loaded term “socialism.” No one is proposing socialism.

Dale Adams

Washington, D.C.

Former Bradford County resident