I share Arnold Ferguson's losses from the Battle of the Bulge (Letter, "Freedom Before Incorporation," Sept. 2 Xpress). My uncle's body survived that battle, but his mind didn't. He spent the rest of his life in VA hospitals, while those of us who loved him watched the mental torment he suffered. However, I strongly disagree with Ferguson's conclusion that Swannanoa incorporation represents a step toward Communism.
Let's be clear about the freedom for which Mr. Ferguson's brother died and my uncle suffered. The American Revolution was fought to give us the right to choose our own form of government. The Declaration of Independence states that to secure the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
The Founding Fathers recognized that governments are necessary to protect our freedoms, but that they must be limited to the "just powers" that their citizens give them. This is just as true at the local level as at the national level. I am not a resident of the Swannanoa Valley and cannot comment on whether incorporation is a good or bad idea. However, if a majority of the voters in the Swannanoa Valley provide their consent to incorporation, they will be exercising the freedom for which so many gave everything, and the government that is formed will meet the standard set by the Declaration of Independence.
We have the freedom to label things we don't agree with in emotional terms. If you are opposed to the current health-care proposals, they are "socialism." If you are opposed to Swannanoa incorporation, it is a "step toward communism." These labels don't add anything to the debate, and in most cases they are wrong.
— Lenny Berstein