Questions raised by my August letter, as well as several claims that The Advocate is biased toward liberal columnists need to be acknowledged.

First my views: I (with the rest of my generation) voted for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. I believe I will go to hell for having done so. Why? Because to be so ignorant of American history to have turned away from the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt and to the party of Wall Street should be punishable by damnation. The New Deal created the middle class, not capitalism.

Claims that The Advocate publishes more liberal columnists than conservative: I find the very complaint to be strange given that there is a Rush radio show in New Orleans (scandalized but still sponsored); there is Fox cable news that every employed American is brainwashed by on a daily basis; and though I hesitate to admit it, there is Walton & Johnson on radio. And does anyone read the syndicated columnists?

When one shows disinterest or disdain for ideas that oppose what the “right” is pursuing, it indicates a closing of the mind. We need to think “outside the box.” The “past” also has lost relevance because globalization has changed all the rules. And when people goaded by the “right” will not allow Democrats to hold public meetings to explain the health-care reform legislation, I see McCarthyism reborn.

It is one thing to understand that “money rules,” but a more dangerous thing to believe that “laissez-faire capitalism” is the only valid economic dogma. That idea, ingrained in our DNA, must not go unchallenged, because it is killing the middle class.

Ditch the current methods of nomination and election by prohibiting large contributions and large spending by individuals, corporations and anonymous groups (PACS), by moving to grass-roots nomination processes and free media access. In other words, remove the existing parties. New citizen-legislators must rebuild departed industries and exclude competitors that site offshore.

Small to midsized businesses should remain unregulated. Those that repeatedly have proved exploitative must be regulated with criminal penalties. Health-care businesses must have their profits regulated to prevent them from destroying our economy.

Withdraw from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. We must redefine our economy in order to maintain our wages. Anyone who thinks that can happen while we allow business to operate offshore and still sell in the United States is delusional. And the solution will not be defined as “free markets.” Damn the definition. Think of something that works!

And how to do this? We need a new constitution. The Federalist papers don’t mean very much to an economically enslaved people; and the Supreme Court has overruled our values!

How do we achieve that new constitution?

James Bollinger