The Right Response: Thoughts on TVA, terrorism and Obama

The Right Response: Thoughts on TVA, terrorism and Obama

May 1st, 2013 in Opinion Free Press


Recent Free Press editorials have tackled some controversial topics and ruffled a few feathers. Here are some of my favorite reactions to, and questions about, our editorials, along with my responses. To submit a question for a future "Right Response" column, email me at:, or send a tweet to: @Drews_Views.

- Drew Johnson

The editorial claiming that people shouldn't worry about being injured or killed by terrorists is reckless, to say the least.

Reckless? Ha!

Reckless is an editorial that says not to worry about heart disease, cancer, strokes or other afflictions that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans a year. Reckless is encouraging people to drive drunk, pick a fight with a UFC champion or pull a gun on a cop.

It is not reckless to state the truth, which is that neither you nor a loved one is likely to die in a terrorist attack.

Is it reckless to say that Americans shouldn't worry about dying from falling out of bed, tripping on a throw rug or battling a vicious case of diarrhea? No. Because the potential of dying from any of those things is so rare and so unlikely, it's not even worth thinking about. But each of those things have killed more Americans over the last decade than domestic terrorism.

Government officials should worry a little less about terrorism, too. If they did, we'd live in a freer, more enjoyable society.

The idea of privatizing TVA is ludicrous from a conservative perspective. TVA is so far in debt that taxpayers will likely lose money by selling it.

Even selling TVA at a loss would be a more free market, conservative policy decision than continuing government ownership of an electric monopoly.

I cringe at the thought of TVA's nuclear program being in the hands of "private enterprise."

Are you talking about the same TVA that is responsible for spilling a billion gallons of wet coal ash that that polluted 300 acres in Kingston, Tenn., less than five years ago? Are you talking about the same TVA where it was a man faked nuclear reaction inspection records? Are you talking about the same TVA that exposed workers to radioactive contamination as a result of "deliberate misconduct" by a contractor, the same TVA that shuttered a nuclear power plant because it was not constructed under the parameters of the blueprints and the same TVA that has received a number of violations from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for everything from inept management to faulty machinery?

There are 65 commercially operating nuclear power plants in America, only three of them are managed by the TVA. Many of the non-TVA plants have far better histories of safety and compliance than the TVA facilities.

The real question is why does anyone trust the inefficient and often inept bureaucracy at the TVA more than a private enterprise?

How dare you say that Obama is a "socialist" by "any historical definition."

I dared to say it because it is true. The Merriam-Webster definition of "socialist" is one who advocates the "collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." Not only has Obama failed to reduce government involvement in the means of production and distribution of goods, but he has expanded government's role, as evidenced by Obamacare (specifically the scheme's involvement in the insurance industry) and the GM bailout.

Further, the American Socialist Party has historically advocated the lending or giving of money to states and municipalities for the purpose of carrying on public works, which Obama encouraged through the stimulus. The Socialist Party has also demanded increasing income taxes on the wealthy, expanding federal ownership of land and growing the number of Americans on food stamps, all of which Obama has overseen.

In fairness, as I pointed out in a November editorial, "Almost every member of Congress, governor and major political figure in the United States today is a socialist" by any historical definition.