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Conservatives assert that American law should conform to the constitutional intent of our founders and declare they are champions of the Bill of Rights and individual freedom from government interference. These claims are consistent with the definition of conservatism — to resist change or preserve tradition. Many people say they are conservative and vote Republican because the national party leadership claims it represents conservative values. But does it?

If you review legislative history, even the current Legislature, you will find Republican lawmakers pass more laws restricting individual freedom and offer more amendments to change our Constitution.

During Eisenhower's first term, the fear-dominated 83rd Congress offered no less than 107 constitutional amendments — and they're at it again in 2006.

I wish America's leaders had confidence in our nation's founding principle that man is capable of self-government, that they were optimistic enough to believe that if our ideal is presented rationally and in good faith that the truth will take hold everywhere. Instead they seem to embrace the politics of fear and doubt, the notion that all people, including Americans, must be forced to accept what is true.

Mel Logan

Sheridan, Wyo.

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