Letters to the Editor

ELECTION: Business people have rights, too

The discussion of “Chamber candidates” for Tacoma City Council (columnist Matt Driscoll, 7-22) has taken an odd turn. Collaboration is morphing dangerously into conspiracy.

Why is it wrong for people with common interests to work together to pursue them? Environmentalists do it. Labor unions do it. Defense attorneys, women’s groups, Latinos … every interest group in America works for political advantage. It’s an essential part of our democracy.

In 1835 De Tocqueville wrote that “the most democratic country on earth is found to be, above all, the one … (to) have most perfected the art of pursuing the object of … common desires in common.”

So why is it heinous for business people - under the flag of their association, the Chamber of Commerce - to support candidates? The answer: It’s not.

I’m afraid we’re blurring the line between disagreeing with a point of view and denying people their right to hold it. De Tocqueville wouldn’t like this. Nor do I.