Letter to the Editor 1.27.12

(This letter is a response the commentary titled “Why liberals love Ron Paul” in the Jan. 20 issue of The Murray State News.)
The writer of last week’s opinion article purporting to explain “Why Liberals Love Ron Paul” shed some light on the abysmal state of party politics in our ailing republic, but I take issue with his representation of our foreign policy as a “non-material issue.” Mr. Griggs seems to think that the War in Afghanistan, which he lumps in with issues like abortion and affirmative action, is not a bread and butter issue.   This belief stems from a very narrow view of how issues can affect people economically. 
I am sure those Iraqi civilians who have lost family, friends and livelihoods as a direct result of U.S. operations their country do not consider war to be a non-material issue.
Nor, for that matter, would the American soldiers who have had their limbs blown or their lives destroyed by PTSD. Furthermore, war is expensive! America spends as much every year on “national defense” as it does on social security, and much of this money goes into the pockets of defense contractors which is essentially a form a corporate welfare. If war is not a material issue, what is?
I understand Mr. Grigg’s indignation about the rich getting richer and the poor poorer while people squabble over abortion and affirmative action. I think it is tragic that the rise of a new “post-material” brand of liberalism since the ‘70s has left the issue of social inequality unaddressed.  But to focus solely on labor relations is to ignore the myriad of issues that influence social welfare.
Caleb Johnson
junior from Bowling Green, Ky.