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Charles Linderman, Carrington, N.D. , Published September 21 2013

Letter: Republicans not shown in cartoon

The David Horsey political cartoon published Sept. 5 depicted conservatives as having a family tradition of being on the wrong side of history. That may be a little unfair, but Richard Schwoch, in his Sept. 17 response, thinks it misrepresents Republicans though the cartoon does not mention Republicans.

Schwoch assumes “conservative” and “Republican” are synonymous throughout history. That is not so. In the mid-1800s, many Democrats wanted to preserve the existing institution of slavery. That was a conservative stance. Many Republicans wanted to abolish slavery, and that would be a liberal idea. The first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, supported by a Republican Congress, signed into law the Homestead Act giving 160 acres of government land to individuals and the Morrill Act establishing land grant colleges. That looks more liberal than conservative to me.

Perhaps the explanation of the conservative in the cartoon is that his father, granddad and great-granddad were Democrats in the solid Democratic South who adamantly opposed civil rights. Perhaps his father was one of those who turned Republican when Democratic President Lyndon Johnson signed Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s and Richard Nixon employed his Southern strategy.

Finally, there is good news to put Schwoch’s mind at ease about Obamacare. There is nothing in the Affordable Health Care Act that will put government in charge of his health care rather than his doctor.