I find it increasingly disturbing that the decision makers at The Pulse have allowed Jason Johnson the opportunity to spew his filth for such an extended period of time. His diatribes would make even a novice columnist shudder. Take for instance his most recent piece: “It’s Party Time, Unless You’re a Republican.”
To quote that American intellectual Samuel Clemens, “The reports of [its] death have been greatly exaggerated.” It being the Republican Party.
In his scholarly work, Johnson asserts that the Republican Party is dead, and shores up his airtight claim with three anecdotal substantiations: (1) Joe the Plumber has left the GOP, (2) Sarah Palin “ran back to the hills” and (3) “Rush Limbaugh is still an idiot.” At the risk of weakening his argument, I will allow his assertions to stand on their own merit.
What consequence does one ignorant columnist in Murfreesboro have on the future of the GOP? None, essentially. But his words do highlight a growing problem with the mainstream media. The MSM has all but read the eulogy for the modern GOP when, in reality, the Republican Party of today does not look very dissimilar from the Democratic Party of the 1960s. Held hostage by one fragment of the party, the Democrats of the 1960s floundered aimlessly for some time before eventually growing out of their adolescent stage. Modern Republicans, resistant to change (i.e. a re-branding of sorts), seem to be held hostage by the stalwarts within their party.
I am not suggesting that Republicans abandon principles of limited government and personal liberty, I am merely suggesting that Republicans expand those concepts to all facets of American culture. Alienating groups of people is no way to win an ideological battle against the Democrats, who have spent decades dividing Americans into easily-appeased “groups”?union workers, minorities, women, homosexuals, etc.
The British Conservative Party recently experienced a successful “re-branding” and they are now poised to make substantial gains in government during the next general election. The modern Tories did not abandon their ideology in the process.
So, while the GOP struggles to find itself, writers like Jason Johnson will be all too quick to suggest the Republican Party is dead. As has been the case historically, however, the pendulum often swings back when Americans feel one party has gained too much control over the American political system.
Johnson would do well to sit tight for about 18 months or so.
? Matthew Hurtt, Murfreesboro
Keep America Traveling
Can you afford to pay $988 more in taxes each year? Whether you answer yes or no, there are probably other things you could do with that money. This amount is the premium that every U.S. household would be forced to pay without the $115 billion in tax revenue that the travel and tourism industry generates nationally.
Recently, travel has been in trouble, and that’s bad news for our city, our economy and our workers. Some individuals and families have curtailed or eliminated vacation plans. To make matters worse, the actions of a few high-profile companies who received government bailout funds have created a toxic environment where mischaracterizations of travel for meetings and events force every company in America to think twice about sending employees on business travel.
The unintended consequences of less travel and tourism are devastating for our economy. Cancellations of legitimate business travel, meetings and events around the country have cost thousands of hotel and hospitality industry employees their jobs, while many more remain concerned about their futures. Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, meeting and event cancellations from just 20 percent of the lodging industry exceeded $220 million, resulting in cut hours and lost jobs.
Travel and tourism play a critical role in the nation’s economy as one of America’s largest industries. In fact $740 billion was spent by domestic and international travelers in 2007, and one of every eight U.S. jobs is created directly or indirectly by travel and tourism.
Here in Rutherford County, the travel industry employs 2,150 people and contributes $237 million to the local economy. We rely heavily on travelers to keep our community strong.
The bottom line is that TRAVEL MATTERS to the national economy and to local communities. Should you decide to plan that getaway to see friends and family or decide not to cancel that upcoming business meeting, know that your hard earned money is keeping hardworking Americans employed and helping sustain the nation’s economy.
? Mona Herring, Vice-President, Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau