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Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Liberty


Rights long lost, not stereotypes

In response to the Feb. 6 letter, "Look at what's actually been lost": While many here in the Puget Sound area would consider me to be a "right-winger," I would consider myself to be a strong conservative. Not a Republican; not a Libertarian. Most conservatives or "right-wingers" have a few things in common. Some being a robust national defense, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and a strong adherence to our founding principles and documents; known as the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
One place where I agree with the writer is that nobody, government officials included, has the authority to assassinate American citizens without due process guaranteed under the Constitution. But, where has everybody been the last 11 years? Congress passed, and then President Bush signed the Patriot Act into law over 11 years ago which took away so many of our liberties in the name of safety. Furthermore, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law in 2011 giving government the legal authority to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. Finally, Obama renewed and expanded upon the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order which gives the president the sole authority to seize any and all resources within our nation when a "national emergency" is declared (food for thought: the national emergency after 9/11 was never lifted). I hate to rain on everybody's parade, but you are all a day late and a dollar short. The Constitution was written and implemented, not as a list of rights granted to citizens, but as a list of restrictions put on government to protect the citizens, and it has been our reluctance to enforce those restrictions that has led to the government seizing the power to kill American citizens as well as the powers referenced above.
I served over four years in the U.S. Navy and have many hobbies which include art, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, some political activism and also enjoy a good book or a day on the water. I would consider myself in fairly decent shape as well as being a fairly successful man with a good paying job and a family. It was nothing less than a group of well informed "right-wingers" who founded this nation and it will take nothing less to restore our broken system to its former greatness, so the writer should consider re-thinking his statement that "right-wingers" are just a bunch of "fat rednecks in camo costumes."
Russell E. Deuel
Mill Creek
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Herald Editorial Board

Peter Jackson, Opinion Editor: pjackson@heraldnet.com (@PeterJHerald)

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.