Tolls = Dead Soldiers, It's All the Same

RECEIVED Fri., Jan. 19, 2007

Editor,
    A few years ago Mr. Louis Black stated that he opposed the initiation of the war in Iraq but that we could not withdraw until there was a functioning democratic government in Baghdad. (Twenty years?) He also supported Sen. John Kerry for president in 2004, whose platform advocated a “surge” in U.S. troop deployments in Iraq.
    Last month Mr. Black editorialized that elite government leaders should ignore the will of the people and vote against their wishes [“Page Two,” Dec. 29]. Mr. Black may have been sending signals to President Bush but the context of his editorial was tolling of our road network, another action that is widely opposed by the people.
    Are the issues that different? No. America has had wars that were sparked by governments that passed unpopular taxes. The Revolutionary War, the Whiskey Rebellion, the War of Secession. Those were the bloody wars. Several “cold” tax wars could be added to the list.
    In short, Mr Black, by undermining a pillar of democracy, throws a bomb into the social order. A toll-tax rebellion may not turn bloody, but the harm done to our social fabric will be substantial.
Vincent J. May
Elgin
   [Louis Black responds: Where did I say our troops should stay there until there was a democratically elected government? I may well have, but I certainly don't remember it. I was pointing out that the Constitution of the United States was so structured as to allow some parts of the federal government to operate on principle rather than be overinfluenced by (perhaps rapidly changing) public opinion. It is surprising that Mr. May equates expressing an opinion with throwing a bomb. The outcry over the toll tax is sad, especially from Libertarians, to suggest it might lead to some serious social disruption even sadder. But to compare the inconvenience of a toll tax to the deaths and wounds of tens of thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians is pathetic.]
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