We need now and will need more hotel rooms and convention facilities. Mr. Earl Holding and I, as an ordinary citizen, would like to see it happen, but I could live without it. What I could not live without is the Constitution of the United States and the individual freedoms and protection it has given me and the interests who want to build the hotel.
It is with those precious freedoms that these people and politicians involved have become so rich and so powerful. It is a privilege they now would deny their fellow citizens. The right to hold and have property is not subordinate to private venture or moneymaking.The RDA, the City Council and the mayor should have entered the normal course of honest business by which the property could have been purchased at an honorable price so that those who would give up their property could have relocated themselves without financial loss. To confiscate the property of another fellow citizen by force is not only outside the intent and letter of the Constitution, but it is disgraceful, unsportsmanlike, unfair, and it sets a precedence under which my children, their children and grandchildren will be forced to live.
I am an emigrant from Germany. When I was going to trade school in 1939, I can well remember the means by which the then new Nazi Party gained its frightening power. In order to confiscate the property of the Jews, they cleverly assigned Jewish areas as blighted, condemned them and then finally confiscated them.
This gave the new party tremendous wealth with which they financed their propaganda. It was at this point that the thinking German people made their great mistake. They did not protest and looked the other way. In no way do I want to suggest a similarity yet, but great oaks from little acorns grow.
When I became a citizen of the United States, I took a solemn oath. I am sure the powers that be might warn me that I had better mind my own business. I will remind them that freedom is my business.
Martin A. Backer
Salt Lake City