ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Other views: The party of family values sucked into pushing a vice

What has happened to the party of family values? I have always considered myself a staunch Republican like my father before me and his father before him. Today I call myself a conservative as I would no more desire to be associated with the GOP a...

What has happened to the party of family values? I have always considered myself a staunch Republican like my father before me and his father before him. Today I call myself a conservative as I would no more desire to be associated with the GOP as the DNC.

With two small children, what family value would I teaching them if I supported a political party who is feverishly promoting the vice of gambling? When has the GOP become the party to introduce new taxes and expanded government? Looking just a little deeper, am I to teach my children that promoting a vice that largely taxes the poor, destroys lives and breaks up families is OK if it helps finance government spending? Rep. Andy Maragos, R-Minot, N.D., has been very active on the local talk shows and has openly admitted that there will be casualties if gambling is allowed, but he "feels" that the damage will be minimal. What's minimal? What if his "feelings" are wrong?

If only one person becomes distraught over gambling debt a year and commits suicide, is that minimal? Is one suicide a year OK with Maragos because, hey, the state of North Dakota collected a couple million in taxes? If only one family a year is destroyed because one or both spouses can not control their gambling urges, is it worth it? Would Maragos tell the children of that broken family that it is OK that they are living in foster care because their parents gambled legally?

I don't know Andy Maragos or anything about his personal life, but I would like to ask him this, "If there were only one casualty of gambling in the state of North Dakota in 2003 and you saw in your crystal ball that it was going to be your daughter, would you still promote this vice? If you knew that your daughter was the one who would become distraught over gambling debt and commit suicide would you still be pushing this vice? It would only be your daughter, and hey, North Dakota would make a couple million dollars on gambling that year. Would you still be beaming with pride telling you grandchildren that you fathered this bill as you visit them in there new foster-care home?

The only thing absurd about my scenario is to think that just one family will be adversely affected by the promotion of this vice. It won't be just suicide, it will also include those imprisoned for embezzlement to cover their gambling debts. Again I can envision Maragos with children saying, "I'm sorry your mom is in the state prison, but with the millions we have raised from gambling several chronic gamblers are getting treatment."

ADVERTISEMENT

I think in honor of Maragos' effort we should now rename the GOP in North Dakota to the GOPL, Gambling On Peoples' Lives. Family values are still important to many of us and Andy has made it evident that the vote has now become more important to many Republicans than the family. We can only hope that Maragos doesn't discover that in Nevada the state raises money with legalized prostitution or that many politicians want to legalize drugs so they can tax them. I hate to think about what other vices Maragos thinks could "save" North Dakota.

Timm, Underwood, N.D., can be reached at sofias@westriv.com

What To Read Next
The administration at Theodore Roosevelt National Park is bent on getting rid of the horses, which means getting rid of vital living history and a major draw to the park.
Fargo city commission hand-wringing over northside Red River crossing is short-sighted
The Minnesota State system request for $350 million in additional funding would freeze tuition and train more desperately needed workers.
Part of resistance to bridge connecting downtown to Red River lies with Fargo's perception