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Dan Dodson

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

My friends who support Trump are mostly good guys but fearful about too many things. Please, don't be afraid. Obama didn't take our guns (know anyone who lost a gun to Obama or any other liberal?); Biden probably won't either. The Second Amendment clearly protects gun rights and will until repealed, which will never happen.

Republicans Hoover, Bush and Bush each left the economy in the toilet, and Democrats Roosevelt, Clinton and Obama pulled it back out. Clinton more than tripled the Dow; Obama did nearly the same. Trump continued Obama's steady gains in the stock market and unemployment, then took credit for all of it, but Obama's annual percentage increase in the stock market was higher than Trump's, even pre-pandemic, It's easy to look all this up online. The record does not justify fear that Democrats are bad for the economy.

And socialism? We'd be nowhere, literally, without at least some elements of socialism. Our roads are a socialist project — we all pay in various ways, and get to use them as needed. The same goes for law enforcement, fire protection, schools, etc. Many essential components of our social structure don't fit well into unfettered capitalism. That's why Truman proposed universal health coverage in 1945; most of the advanced world makes it work, without adopting full-blown socialism. As the most-wealthy nation on earth, we could do it. Nothing to be afraid of.

Cultural change has long been a concern, from Elvis's hips to one friend's fear of having to see guys walking down the street holding hands. Sadly for him, changes like this should and will continue no matter who is president.

Finally, some friends fear being accused of bigotry, although some lately seem inexplicably proud of their own prejudices. Racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry and unfairness are bad things, but this is a complicated subject and comes in various levels and forms. Maybe we could all attempt to understand the perspectives and perceived shortcomings of others a little better, and perhaps be a bit less critical, and less sensitive when criticized. Fairness is a good thing, and as more people get a fair opportunity, the economic pie grows, and we are all better off.

Please look at who is trying to scare you, and their real motives. That might be a good first step in freeing yourselves from fear.

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