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home : opinion : opinion May 26, 2017

3/22/2017 1:39:00 PM
Publisher's Column I'm curious about conservative values

My conservative friends tell me that conservatives favor local control, small government, Christian virtues, a balanced budget and oppose taxes. Few of them believe that I also favor those things, but I do. The difference is all in how you look at things when the rubber hits the road, so to speak.

To me, local control means letting local governments have responsibility and control over issues that are within their jurisdiction and do not extend outside their jurisdiction. An example would be bike lanes in a municipality. Local use of bike lanes on city streets to provide safe riding conditions for children and adults seems like something the state and federal government should stay out of and let local officials handle.

I was surprised to see that a local Republican legislator has introduced a bill in the state legislature to take away local control of bike lanes, to ban bike lane use by children, to impose a tax on everyone 15 and older who uses bike lanes and to grow state government with new permit and enforcement requirements. It will probably add to budget imbalance, too, because the $5 tax probably won't cover the cost of the licensing and enforcement expenses.

Worst in this case is that the legislation is directed at streets in the Twin Cities, where traffic is dangerously congested even for adults in automobiles. Why would anyone want to force children under 15 out of bike lanes and into that congested traffic?

Personally, I would rather our local legislators concentrated on getting US 14 finished and on legislation addressing issues within their own districts.

Ranchers and most state legislators along the U.S./Mexico border are opposed to building the wall President Trump has proposed. He says it will be about 30 feet high, impervious to penetration by any conventional method and impossible to tunnel under. The previous cost estimates did not envision anything approaching what such a wall will cost.

On top of the cost of the wall, the President proposes dramatic increases in the number of border patrol agents, border patrol equipment and the border patrol budget.

President Trump is also proposing dramatic increases in staffing and equipment for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Defense, along with equally dramatic increases in budgets.

How is it that the size of government increases most significantly under Republican administrations but smaller government is supposed to be a conservative value?

President Trump has accused former President Barrack Obama of committing a felony and wiretapping Trump's property in New York City, but refuses to provide any evidence of anything improper. Trump clearly knows he is spreading a malicious lie.

President Trump also accuses Great Britain of colluding with President Obama in the felonious act of wiretapping or otherwise surveilling Trump and his staff during the period of the election. Trump knows this is a lie, too, but he is accusing our closest ally of nefarious acts to undermine our democratic election process.

Seems to me one of the Ten Commandments says something about bearing false witness.

I know a lot of conservatives favor local control, small government, Christian virtues, a balanced budget and are opposed to taxes, but I don't see any of those values being reflected in much that is going on at the state and federal levels in our governments.

I am a firm believer in allowing local control of local issues. I favor enough government to accomplish the responsibilities of the particular level of government. I support Christian virtues. I support collecting enough taxes each year to cover the budgets that we all agree on for that year.

As I look at what is happening at the state and federal level in our governments, I get the feeling I must have turned into an ultra-conservative, because I find what is happening repulsive. Either that, or I just don't understand conservative values.

Larry Dobson


Claremont Service




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