Editor’s note: Richard Mack sent this email response to Wednesday’s Press editorial.
The facts are that as a smalltown sheriff I sued the federal government and won a landmark case at the U.S. Supreme Court. I tend to think Lincoln would have been on my side. He was the one who said to follow the Constitution and to make it the "political religion" of our nation. I have done that all my life. Party affiliation has not had anything to with my views and they are not "chameleon." My views have always been the same; very strong on the strict adherence to the Constitution and following the Founders. That's why as a Democrat sheriff I sued the head of the Democrat party (Bill Clinton) and beat him and Janet Reno at the Supreme Court. That is my calling card. That is what I'm known for.
You entirely used things about me that have very little to do with my record and what I've done. You brought up "militias" and "legalized drugs." Well, I have never been involved with any militia group in my life and you have seen nothing to support that I have. You attempt to make me the "black eye" when I have never committed a crime and have not forged anything relating to this entire situation. But someone appears to have done that there and you focused on me?
Whether I am too far right for your tastes has nothing to do with the fact that the dishonesty displayed by some of the neocons in your backyard have nothing to do with my "extremist" views. And on that subject I tend to agree with my favorite Arizona Republican, Barry Goldwater, who said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." I would add however, that forgery is a vice and a crime. I remain solidly opposed to such behavior.
Finally, Lincoln himself opposed laws of prohibition and knew of its destructive influence on personal freedoms. He said, "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Maybe my record as an undercover cop should also be considered as I assail the drug war and its huge failure. I will not lie to the people and tell them that it has been successful when it simply is not true. I risked my life to fight as a warrior within the drug war. I realized then as I do now that such is an exercise in futility.
Oh, and by the way, Lincoln was a Whig and Reagan was a Democrat. Are they likewise the "antithesis" of today's Republicans? Perhaps they are to some. But one thing I know, Reagan's famous quote that "Government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem," is where I get my for basis for yearning for less government, less corruption, and less debt. Madison warned us that we would lose more freedoms from those in power than by violent and sudden attacks. Our Constitution is not being destroyed by terrorists, but by "those in power." I wish more than anything that it were not true.
Yours in freedom,
Sheriff Richard Mack