CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM RE EDITORIAL POLICY/GOV. GRAY DAVIS
by Peter Mancus
Date : Wed, 12 Feb 2003
Dear Mr. Golis, Mr. Gullixon, and Ms. DuBay:
It is my understanding that you three are the key members of, and perhaps the entire department, for the Press Democrat's "Editorial Department."
I am a PD subscriber who, generally loathes your sustained editorial spin. Some examples of your editorials and how I experience them follow.
In the 2-12-03 PD editorial "Davis recall," one of you wrote the following:
"As if California doesn't have enough problems, now anti-tax activists and Republicans are launching a campaign to recall Gov. Gray Davis--just three months after he was re-elected. California needs this like it needs a 7.0 earthquake.
Your newspaper is infamous for almost always endorsing liberal democrats, regardless of the issues and of the merits of any opposing candidate. Your newspaper endorsed Davis every time he ran for office. You endorsed a straight democrat ticket last election.
"We won't begin to defend Davis or excuse him for his role in creating California's current fiscal crisis. But there is nothing in the charges against him that wasn't known last November. [Emphasis added.]
". . . Lost in the orgy of self-preservation and blame is any recognition of what's in the best interest of the state. . . .
". . . A recall campaign will only distract elected officials from this vital task.
". . . California is in a financial hole, and everybody in Sacramento has dirt on their hands. This campaign would just guarantee everyone will get a lot more soiled."
In context, you endorsed Davis when you knew of his significant role in running the Golden State into the ground. Yet you inexplicably endorsed him. Why? Shame on you, which is being charitable.
Year in and year out you have always used your newspaper's editorial space [thousands, if not tens of thousands, of square inches over the years] to champion people who I experience to be Domestic Enemies of the United States, Freedom Haters, Liberty Thieves, Tyrant Wannabees, and Useful Idiots for Tyrant Wannabees. What you perceive as "wisdom" [what you transfer from your minds to your opinion-editorials,] I, more than 75% of the time, experience to be fragmented, feel good, ideological, pro-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, dangerous, unconstitutional, crap.
Individually, and collectively, the three of you are dangerous. You use your op-eds to manipulate and influence what others "think" who lack critical thinking skills and the ability to recall your previous op-eds and how you bury your biggest mistakes by glossing over them, just as you did in the above quoted editorial.
You also always refer to our form of government incorrectly. You refer to our form of govt as being "a democracy." This might shock you, but we are not "a democracy." Technically and legally, we are a Constitutionally limited democratic republic with a set of guaranteed Constitutional rights for all citizens which are supposed to be beyond the reach of a majority, judges, law enforcement, etc. [I discussed this on the telephone, and in person, with Mr. Golis, but your op-eds still refer to our govt as being "a democracy."]
Many politicians and major department heads in Sonoma County also refer to our form of government as being "a democracy." You, and they, are all wrong.
The U.S. Constitution, and California's Constitution, have many built-in countermajoritarian safeguards. Why? Because the Founders and Framers wisely feared and hated a pure democracy.
"Democracy" means three wolves, one sheep and one lamb decide what to eat.
In "a Constitutionally limited democratic republic with a set of guaranteed Constitutional rights for all citizens which are supposed to be beyond the reach of a majority, judges, law enforcement, etc.," the wolves cannot eat the sheep and the lambs. Instead, they all have a right to co-exist per the real Constitutional Rule of Law.
Stop perverting the real Constitutional Rule of Law.
Every time you describe our government, or out system, as "a democracy," you undercut the U.S. Bill of Rights, which is Mankind's greatest achievement. As you know, that Bill includes the First Amendment, which gives you and your operation Constitutional stature per the "freedom of the press," as is stated in the First Amendment.
You, however, have a sad, persistent record of using your op-eds for years to urge additional prior restraints against the individual right to arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment. In doing so, you always describe our form of government as "a democracy" and you always insist that the presumed majority should have its way in gutting the Second. By so urging, you manifest have foolish, irresponsible, stupid, myopic, and dangerous you are, and how you function as Useful Idiots for Tyrant Wannabees among us who loathe the real Constitutional Rule of Law.
I strongly recommend that you do the following:
- Reflect upon this constructive criticism carefully;
- Endorse the campaign to recall Davis. [Per your approach, you in effect endorse allowing political whores to behave in a horrific, insufferable fashion and to still be immune to one of the electorate's remedies, namely, the recall. Reformulated, you, in effect, think this: as bad as Davis is, which even you admit despite your endorsement of him, we should remain saddled with him. No! A thousand times No!;]
- You should dispassionately consider this observation: none of you are as erudite or as wise in your judgment calls as you think you are;
- You should stop referring to our form of government as "a democracy" and you should characterize our form of government for what it really is, which is exactly what I described it to be;
- It is dangerous for you, professionally, to describe our form of government as "a democracy." In "a democracy" the majority is free to vote away "freedom of the press." If and when that should happen, you will be glad to know that there are citizens like me with privately owned firearms independent of government who are willing, able, and ready to use those firearms to keep your doors open and your presses running even though I/we think your op-eds are, for the most part, intellectual crap, you are dangerous, and you function as Useful Idiots for Tyrant Wannabees, which includes Gov. Davis, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, Atty General Bill Lockyer, State Senator Don Perata, ex-President Bill Clinton, etc.; and
- [This is probably the most significant recommendation.] Use your editorials to do a mini-crash course, with periodic refreshers, on the key concepts and highlights of our Constitutional system. Why? Because most people are Constitutional illiterates, and, thanks to you, in part, think that our form of government really is only "a democracy" and that, therefore, any whipped up, hysterical, majority can demand--and be entitled to--and get, whatever it wants, which is flat out wrong. You should teach people that historically majorities have too often been mean spirited, vicious, cruel, and wrong and the opposition, the minority, has been kind, wise, prudent.
To the extent that you fail to follow these recommendations I will hold you in high intellectual contempt. Stop abusing your fiduciary-like public trust. You have a monopoly over your op-eds space. Stop misusing that space. Stop abusing your "freedom of the press" right to the detriment of the community and the nation.
- You are wasting your tens of thousands of square inches of op-editorial space;
- You are helping to ratchet us closer to a result that is frightening: You are helping to erode Constitutional bright lines in the inexplicable belief that you think your judgments are wiser than those of the Founders and the Framers;
- I warn you in a nice way: Be afraid to erode the Constitution's bright lines [e.g., the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.] When we go beyond those lines, we enter a dark abyss and we free fall toward Tyranny;
- Use your op-eds to take all politicians of all parties and orientation to task when they function unconstitutionally;
- When you play the "Let's tinker here and there and re-write the Constitution by interpreting away what we do not like." game, you play a dangerous game that will trigger unanticipated consequences of dire import that most will regret when it is too late; and
- Use your op-eds to force civil authority to wear its Constitutional collar under pain of having its damn neck broken and to educate citizens as to the enduring grave import of the real Constitutional Rule of Law, of the value of the Bill of Rights and how Liberty is more important than Security and that the largest amount of Security for all will be found, and achieved, only in an atmosphere of a thriving Bill of Rights culture which values Liberty above all--for all citizens all of the time. There is real Security for all within the Bill of Rights. Outside the Bill of Rights, there is no Security. Do not let "Homeland Security" become "Homeland Lockdown." Do not champion civil authority having a monopoly on firearms. Instead, champion the individual right to arms independently of government employment. Without a thriving Bill of Rights culture, which includes recognition of the Second as guaranteeing an individual right to arms which shall not be subject to any prior restraint, the United States is nothing more than a glorified Banana Republic.
Attorney at Law
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