Norm Haughness can be excused for ditching evidence-based judgment in blaming the problems of this country on those he regards as irrational deplorables ("The ethos of our democracy," Dec. 27). After all, he demonstrated the very traits of which he smeared the "Retrumplicans" as possessing.

I am curious to know just what ethos he fancies as being ideal. Would that include whatever has caused the decades-long decline in our country's morals and corresponding boost in the prisons' populations, perhaps stoked by a Democratic Party whose increasingly "progressive" platform has caused a mass exodus of Catholics like myself?

Perhaps our quality-of-life indicators wouldn't be so gloomy if the far-left elitists hadn't been so obsessed with taking our money to fuel an overly regulated utopia that distorts the ethos that God desired for us and our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to cultivate. Besides, if our rankings are not where Mr. Haughness thinks they should be, pray tell why so many people are flocking to this country?

Speaking of immigrants, it'd be nice if all of them shared the ethos of my sister-in-law in southeast Asia, who respectfully and patiently has waited for more than 12 years to legally immigrate here.

If there is one thing that Mr. Haughness got it right, it's his belief that it is deeds, not rhetoric, that determines the quality-of-life rankings for every nation. Considering the aspersions that he cast on those who rightly disagree with him, I'd say that we have earned ours.

Joel Torczon

Bakersfield