To the editors:
I have now read the Reader's cover story on Walter Dudycz [October 19], and two responding letters and Bryan Miller's reply published last week [November 2]. Dudycz lost the election yesterday, much to my relief. But I am shocked and surprised to see the Reader, if not supporting Dudycz, at least making excuses for him. I had heretofore always trusted you as the champion of right (i.e., left) causes.
In Dudycz's favor is his opposition to the Machine, his civility and politeness, his record as an above-average police officer, and that he once decently refused to vote for a bill that would persecute gay people. But after boiling down the remaining evidence we are left with:
1. Dudycz is anti-choice. He says he worries about it, doesn't say anything about better sex education or distributing free birth control, but still, like a lot of conservative men, values a fetus more highly than a live woman, except with the usual conservative exceptions. Bryan Miller says that's all right because Annunzio is the same way.
2. Dudycz is against gun control. Nobody says how much against, whether he'd vote for any compromise measures such as the Brady Bill (the seven-day waiting period on handgun purchases), or limitations on assault rifles, or a ban on teflon-coated bullets (called "cop-killers" because they penetrate Kevlar bulletproof vests). Dudycz took $5,000 from the NRA, which Bryan Miller says is OK because 3 million people belong to the NRA. Note: 3 million gun owners can be, and are, wrong.
3. Dudycz is against free speech when it offends him. Miller never mentions how Dudycz's actions opened up a world of opportunity for the vilification of artists by right-wing crazies like Jesse Helms and Dana Rohrbacher, who were looking for new whipping boys; nor the attendant hysteria about the NEA and the general stifling of free artistic, political and sexual speech nationwide. For this step in helping America become even more of an anti-democratic immature cultural backwater Dudycz owes us at least an apology if not political self-obliteration.
May I add that any politician who can claim that Ronald Reagan and Harold Washington were alike--an assertion Miller leaves unchallenged--strikes me as unusually intellectually deficient even by Chicago standards.
I am also amused at Miller's personal assertion of Libertarianism, whatever that means. (It used to mean a Lyndon LaRouche supporter.) Dudycz led a government crusade against minority free expression. Miller portrays the NRA as some sort of popular front when it is simply a well-funded manufacturer's lobby. Dudycz is sponsoring a government insurance plan against the economic costs of white flight, i.e. racism. None of this sounds Libertarian.
Anti-Machine politics make strange bedfellows, but the Reader and Dudycz should divorce immediately. On every issue that counts, Walter Dudycz is my enemy. He should be yours.
Bryan Miller replies:
First, I didn't say being antichoice was good or bad. I said it wasn't an issue in the 11th District, because both candidates feel the same. At least Dudycz thinks and worries about his stand, which is more than can be said for many, if not most, antiabortionists. Second, I simply contrasted accepting money from a broad-based group such as the NRA with seeking handouts from lone wolves such as Charles Keating. Third, you seem to be confusing Walter Dudycz with Jesse Helms.
The bizarre equation of Lyndon LaRouche and libertarianism needs a response, since it's just possible that someone else in the world is unaware that their philosophies are 180 degrees apart. Lyndon LaRouche is a sometime Stalinist who wants to put gays in concentration camps. Libertarians, in complete contrast, want government out of our bedrooms as well as out of our wallets. And libertarians support all of the rights contained in the Constitution, not just those we find convenient this week.