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Letters to the Editor

I would like to issue an apology to those that found my Feb. 5 Letter to The Journal, headlined "Arrogant and sanctimonious," offensive. Apparently, some didn't see the allegory and running commentary meant to convey my thoughts on positions The Journal editorial board has taken on some issues in recent years and weeks. It is my fault I wasn't more explicit in my intentions.

In my opinion, The Journal editorial board seems to side with governmental bodies or groups that are perceived to represent authority. My own view is that besides basic services at the local level, I do not believe government is a necessity. If we truly believe in freedom, we must also have absolute rights of the individual. This is only achieved by the abolishment of most government intrusions into the life of the individual.

The late Molly Ivins alluded to this in several of her books and columns, but relented, saying that human nature and different systems of belief make some government necessary so, to paraphrase her, men do not kill each other. These same sentiments have been expressed over the years by commentator and author Jim Hightower. Both of these fine writers expressed their love for freedom, but also equated an egalitarian society with limited government control.

South Dakotans have always been known for their fierce individuality and seldom walk lockstep with the rest of the country.

In the "west river" part of the state it isn't uncommon to see cowboys carrying a pistol in a holster walking down the street. Hint: they use them to shoot critters out on the ranch. Our last gubernatorial election saw a woman running against a former cowboy in a wheelchair, a total expression of our diverse citizenry.

We value our differences and rejoice for all that express themselves. This state may be a little too red for some people, me included, but that is a price we pay to live where we can maintain our identity as freedom lovers. Pyotr Kropotkin once said, "It is only those who do nothing who makes no mistakes." If I have offended you, my apologies. - Douglas Heeren, Spink, South Dakota

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