|This letter to the editor of Florida Today saw publication on December 26, 2004 at|
Here is the text:
In response to syndicated columnist Joseph Perkins' article, "Tyranny of the nonbelievers," one crucial function of the federalist system of constitutional republicanism, as the founders established it, was to diffuse the passions of the majority.
Surprisingly, I received acknowledgement of this letter from two Republican representatives in the Florida State Legislature. The first came as a postcard from Florida State Senator Mike Haridopolos:
Over time, this diffusion mechanism has gradually eroded. Today, we have a system in which representatives have no time to mull over what decisions best serve the good of all Americans. Instead, they find themselves constantly harangued by special-interest groups.
Sadly, these well-organized special interests can use the leverage of the government to force zealous minority viewpoints onto all of us. The average American with no particular ax to grind faces the impossible task of halting the efforts of every special interest.
I contend that religious zealots want to force those of less zeal, including many fellow Christians, to foot the bill with tax dollars for government endorsement of their beliefs.
Far from being an issue of "majority rules," this amounts to a minority seeking to force its will onto the majority. This is the very abomination Perkins denounces.
Luther, I read your letter to the editor from the 26th. Well said. --Mike
The second came a full-blown letter on official Florida Senate gold-embossed stationery from Florida State Senator Bill Posey:
Dear Mr. Setzer:
I found these responses a pleasant surprise.
Thank you for taking the time to share your views in your letter to the editor. Being an effective legislator depends upon the ability to stay informed about the issues that are of concern to the citizens of Florida.
When I am in Tallahassee, however, I do not have the opportunity to see my constituents every day. Still, it is important to keep in touch with the everyday thoughts of the people back home. Therefore, I especially appreciate reading the letters to the editor. The thoughtful comments of people like you are always of great help to me.
Only the best and most meaningful letters out of all the thousands written are selected to be published. Thank you again for making the effort and helping me to remain informed about the issues that are important to you.
Very truly yours,
Senator District 24