This letter was published in the Suburban Trends, 1027/2016

Allow me to respond to two letters which appeared in the Suburban Trends on Oct. 12, 2016. First, we had a letter by a writer who usually goes on an anti-Japanese rant every December on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, even though World War II ended over 70 years ago.

This time around the writer attacked athletes like Colin Kaepernick who didn’t stand for the national anthem at recent football games. The writer equates patriotism with blind nationalism evidently, which are two different things entirely. I wonder if all the "Fox News Conservatives" out there realize America didn’t have a national anthem until the 1930s or that the tune to which the anthem’s lyrics are set to is actually an old English drinking song.

As to the Pledge of Allegiance, it wasn’t written until the 1890s and by an avowed socialist advocate of unconstitutional government expansion named Walter Bellamy. Old photos of school children show them with their right arms outstretched reciting the pledge. This was dropped in the 1930s since some political movements in Italy and Germany at the time used the same outstretched arm salute and our leaders didn’t want to seem to be overly Fascist. This was when the current "hand over the heart" gesture was adopted.

Regarding the second letter, the writer of this one thinks Congressman Scott Garrett is the greatest. I beg to differ. It is true that Garrett does vote to uphold the Second Amendment and generally adheres to the Constitution on domestic issues like out-of-control government spending and that is to his credit. When it comes to foreign affairs, however, Scott Garrett is just another neo-conservative interventionist who has yet to meet a war he didn’t like. Our interventionism in the Middle East helps create the climate in which terrorism flourishes.

If you think his current Democratic opponent Josh Gottheimer is a real choice, please think again. Gottheimer is just another big spending liberal in the mold of Obama and Clinton. If you want a true defender of freedom representing the Fifth District, the choice will be Claudio Belusic, not Garrett or Gottheimer.

Any simpleton can chant "USA! USA!" or "Make America Great Again;" true patriots consistently defend liberty and the Constitution on all issues, that is why the Libertarian Party exists, to give voters a choice from president down to local office holders. Break free from the "herd mentality" and vote for Gary Johnson for president, Claudio Belusic for Congress, and here in West Milford, Mike Chazukow for Township Council. If freedom is worth fighting for, it’s worth voting for.

Mark Richards,
West Milford