I ask the reader to conjure a Cartesian diagram with libertarian to progressive on the "x" axis while zero deficits to deficit-spending is on the "y." The upper right hand quadrant is progressives willing to expand the debt for worthwhile causes while the lower right finds progressives with budgetary concerns. Laugh if you must but, boy howdy, we do exist.

The lower left quadrant finds libertarians who don't like the idea of commonweal much and don't want to fund it much either while the upper left finds libertarians who hate government but love a giant pool of tax money to raid. Lost in the back and forth on these and other pages is that a two-party system can't satisfy all quadrants.

I favor a Democratic Party which is first and foremost progressive, with healthy internal debates about funding. I don't question the integrity of the genuine libertarian and the Republican Party appears to embrace them. But I wish my party could reach out to Republicans with a shared desire for common good whose major concern is taxes because we needn't support welfare programs for the already well-off. Let them be relegated to a party of the greedy 2 percent and assorted wannabes. For now, the Republicans appear to embrace them also. (Tax returns on a postcard: that's rich.)

I'd rather compromise with fellow progressives than bargain with those whose terms are transparently selfish or confused about the course of history since the Magna Carta. Remember: our revolution also defeated the royalists among us.

Stacey Youdin

Corvallis (Nov. 3)

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