Statesmen would protect rights

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It is that time of year when Alaskans will be bombarded with gubernatorial candidate material. As we all rifle through the material I would like to remind my fellow Alaskans that Alaska's constitution is considered one of the best in the country. In 1972 Alaska voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to specifically guarantee the right to privacy in the constitution. These rights include the rights of women, minorities and homosexuals (contrary to policy, these groups are Alaskans too and should be afforded rights).

History has shown that the most damage caused to minorities of all races in the world has all been in the name of "God." Religious beliefs have all been the justification for causing harm, stripping people of their rights and violating civil rights. The best and most ridiculous lines are when the politician tells us it's for our own good.

In the meantime, until we elect politicians who have the character to build sensible bridges, women and minority issues will continue to be governed by ideology. I truly believe that our state leaders must be strong enough to support constitutionally protected rights. Once, governors and legislative representatives were statesmen. Now they act like dictators.

Where have all the statesmen gone? Will Alaska be able to be a state that can be governed by science, economics and sustainable, managed growth or are we going to become like all the other states, dictated by ideology? Most Alaskans I talk to all came here to get away from the Lower 48, so why are our governor and majority representatives steered by other state policies and outside interests?

We are all interconnected in this state. You cannot stop growth without hurting the economy. You cannot infringe on the rights of others without changing the way we see and treat each other. Equality for all means all, not just urban Alaska or non-minorities.

I do not have all the answers, but I know that an informed vote is the most powerful. I hope and pray that the next governor of this great state will be a statesman, one that represents the people of Alaska (in all its diversity and locations) as opposed to outside interest.

Myrna Gardner

Juneau



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