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June 4, 2014

In Your Opinion: Government rule is better than anarchy

The Daily Star

---- — This is a response to Dan Rorick’s May 28 letter, since it referenced me. 

Although I appreciate Mr. Rorick’s passion about the role of government, he should further study the history of property rights and law, as his letter is riddled with logical and factual inaccuracies. Eminent domain is indeed a serious infringement on private property rights and should be avoided if possible. Many of us are especially concerned with its expanding definition since the Supreme Court’s 2005 Kelo decision. Although we may object to an act of government, it doesn’t make the act “illegitimate” and certainly doesn’t delegitimize the state itself. 

If by calling me a statist, Mr. Rorick suggests I believe power should be handed to state and federal governments, he is incorrect. The best decisions are often made close to home, such as Oneonta’s recent successful banning of fracking through home rule. If statism is a belief that the state and government are legitimate, then yes, I support rule of law. Mr. Rorick advocates for the dissolution of the state. 

Anarchy would be a disaster, putting people at the mercy of those with the largest pocketbook, most property or biggest arsenal. Our Constitution, laws, government and uniformed officers (local, state and federal) are legitimate and are more desirable than rule by gangs and warlords. Mr. Rorick wrongly suggests (two days after Memorial Day) our military has illegitimately killed millions of innocents. Many of us have family members who have given their lives for our country. America isn’t perfect, but it is still the greatest force for good in the world; democracy is worth fighting for. Luckily there are far more people who still believe in the promise and potential of America than there are cynics who suggest democracy is illegitimate.

Andrew Stammel