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Letter: We need to conserve best parts of nation

We need to conserve best parts of nation

As a registered Republican since I was 21 years of age (I am now 81), I always considered myself conservative.

I admired Teddy Roosevelt for bringing down the monopolies during his presidency. I admired Dwight Eisenhower for his warning about the military-industrial complex. The highways and bridges built during his administration helped to knit the country together and produced an economic boom that lasted for decades.

Republicans and Democrats passed legislation protecting the right to unionize. After World War II, unions and their members led a peacetime recovery that ran into the 1970s. The American dream was possible, with home ownership and a car in every garage for those willing to work.

The ratio of the median of worker’s pay to the CEO was 40 times, not 400 times as it is today. We had a ladder of mobility that people climbed to get the American dream. Now we have the Forbes 500 richest billionaires as our goal. We went from working together to self-centeredness.

This change began in the 1980s when the right wing of the Republican party emerged. Religious fervor began the litmus test for party loyalty.

The features of our nation that should be conserved are: a) wages that made the American dream possible b) good infrastructure so the engines of commerce can function at a high level and c) a sense of togetherness that allowed our nation to win World War II.

Let’s conserve the best parts of our nation, not the worst parts.

Richard Czarnecki