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Applying reason has calming effect

Letter to the Editor

May I take a last look at "Atlas Shrugged" in reply to Mr. Grant's "'Atlas Shrugged' gives U.S. a look at future (Oct. 2)"?

Imagine Ayn Rand (Ayn -- Russian name) still of interest to anyone except Paul Ryan, and "Atlas Shrugged" still exuding fear upon those who choose to fear something!

Very true, empires rose and fell since the Middle Ages as dictatorial governments do today ... because rulers did not allow citizens to vote them into or out of office.

We all know our democracy suffered through the Revolution, Civil War, two world wars -- "to keep the world safe for democracy" -- assassinations, earthquakes, storms and floods, but no matter who the president was, it recovered and survived.

Mistakes will be made, so some fear is understandable. Fear was a subject in Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince (1513, Chapter 17)," where he instructed candidates on how to rule: "Love endures by a bond which men, being scoundrels, may break whenever it serves their advantage to do so; but fear is supported by the dread of pain, which is ever present."

We do not fear real pain, per se, from politicians, but they can publicize fearful possibilities, which, if they happen, can be painful in some way or another ... impending war or lack of health care, for example.

The Albany Herald printed this from The Associated Press (Oct. 2): "Economist: Recovery likely regardless of who's president." It may be slow as it was after 1929 because then and 2008 left a devastated economy. Applied reasoning calms fears.

wounded warriors and veterans are returning home from our longest wars. They, with "we, the people" and gravestones from Flanders Field to Arlington and Andersonville national cemeteries, bear witness that the United States of America will remain a free democracy ... whoever we elect.

DORIS S. STEVENSON

Albany