Thursday, October 21, 2004

Judge is a Republican in name only

By Michael R. Barrett
Guest columnist

Former Judge Robert L. Black provided many years of service to Hamilton County, so it is with a heavy heart that I am compelled to respond to the guest column ("A Republican declares his independence," October 13). I would not but for the fact that the author leveraged his past association with the Republican Party to bolster his position.

Although the Republican Party has tried to maintain a big tent under which many different individuals and many diverse points of view are included, some such as Judge Black are out-of-touch with middle-class and middle-America values that are the mainstay of the Republican Party.

President Bush has advocated economic growth, global security, international health, and world peace. Judge Black's rhetoric echoes the elitist do-nothings who favor debates in the UN, false promises, and expanded governmental regulations rather than doing the nitty-gritty work to actually solve international crises, provide for the defense of nations, and effect justice and freedom throughout the world.

An economist former Judge Black is not. Raising taxes does not create economic growth. The devastation of Sept. 11, 2001 could have had catastrophic, rather than just difficult, economic consequences if someone with his point of view had been in charge.

An historian former Judge Black is not. The rise of the "radical Muslim extremists" he refers to did not result from President Bush's response to Sept. 11, but rather caused Sept. 11. So long as the United States supports Israel and other democracy-seeking nations in the Middle East, we will be on the terrorists' hit list. The United States cannot abandon Israel to appeal to radical Muslim extremists. Our presence in that part of the world is clearly necessary.

Support of the nation's population needs, manufacturing and other industries are essential and must be balanced with legitimate environmental concerns. Rugged outdoor individuals and conservationists, such as President Bush who are ranchers, farmers, cattlemen, hunters, fishermen, miners and foresters know far more and do far more to intelligently manage the environment than ivory-tower philosophers.

Even though Judge Black was "born Republican," it is clear that he does not represent many of the values of our party.

Michael R. Barrett is Hamilton County Republican Party chairman.

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