Thursday, October 18, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Every once in a while, I read my local (weekly) paper online.  I generally glance through the main headlines in an attempt to keep up with the local doings, and then check out the "letters to the editor".  Invariably I will comment on one, especially those which claim that the current Obama Administration, or next one should he win in November, will mark the "end of a free America", or the "last hurray for capitalism in America" or some such blathering. 

Yesterday I read a letter from an older reader, (she referred to her grand kids and great-grand kids) who
seemed truly upset about our current president and his lack of love for America.  She sincerely believes that he (and his wife Michelle) hate America, and that another four years of him as president will mark to end of freedom in our country.  She points to his going to church and listening to Rev Wright's sermons, his initial disdain for wearing an American flag pin, his attendance at flag burnings (not sure if this is an actual fact), and his going around the world apologizing for America.  Her final comment is that she has seen many threats to America in her life, but that Obama is the worst.

What is as interesting to me as her perception of how horrible Obama's term has been are the five published comments to her letter.

Two were in complete agreement of her sentiments.  Two were of the exact opposite opinion, and one asked the question/challenged the readers of the paper to submit a letter that actually used facts to support their argument as opposed to "spewing idiocies". 

And that, my friends, is the problem with our current political perspective.  Hate the other team, love our team.  All their ideas are lunacy, anti-American, anti-freedom, racist and inhuman.  All our ideas are pragmatic, job creating, prosperity building, and God approved.  And those without allegiance to either try to stay above the fray, pointing out how illogical the blind faith to either party can be.

It is as if we have fallen into a world where all the most bizarre sports cliches have become our country's mantra for discussing the real issues of our time. 

I added my viewpoint, and have copied and pasted it below for your consideration.  You may want to read the letter (link is above) and the comments before reading my comment so that you have a reference point, although I am sure that you can infer the references without much effort.

Also, I readily admit that I am biased in my viewpoint of this current election.  I believe that the current Republican economic theory of trickling down the leftovers from the top has hurt America, and the American middle class, and should not be adopted again.  I believe that the current Democratic plan to help level the playing field by establishing a can't go below tax rate for those in the top 5% of wage earners will stop the flow of America's wealth to those few Americans.  I believe that making contraception and family planning services more available is a way to provide more freedom for our young women as they navigate their child bearing years, and decry the resistance by Republican and/or certain business leaders to same pay for same work.  I am against sending our young men and women to the far corners of the world to "promote" democracy, when the real reason is to maintain a bloated military industrial complex that gets almost one out of every three discretionary dollars from our federal budget.  I am against the pretense that if you don't say God in every other phrase that you utter that you our anti-American but am also distressed at the lack of Christian acts in our country where a politician can get applause when promising to end funding for PBS, where the poor and elderly are referred to as "those" 47% who are only seeking a handout, and where the selling of guns and ammunition has become a national past time since the election of our first African American president.  I am against a "Defense of Marriage" Law that defends marriage by making it illegal for certain law-abiding, tax-paying Americas to get married. 

But I don't think Mitt Romney is some type of horrible man who only cares about his personal wealth and those of his ilk.  I meant it when I said that regardless of who wins, we will have a man of integrity in the White House.  It is OK to disagree, vehemently even, but to slander, lie, bend the truth until it is unrecognizable, and assassinate the character of someone who is making the monumental decision to put his personal life on hold to serve our country in its most difficult and challenging position is a sad statement about our culture. 

To me the choice of who can best lead America is obvious, but it is OK if you think the exact opposite if you present facts and logic to justify your decision.  Unemployment is high plus too many Americans are underemployed, or have to work two jobs in order to make ends meet.  Our national debt is out of control, and we haven't had a true federal budget in 3 years.  America is less respected across the globe than the previous two generations.  Cite those problems, and we discuss and debate the whys and hows and perhaps reach some common ground and some real solutions.

Tell me my candidate hates America or is a rich bastard, and there is no where to go from there.

Here is my comment to above mentioned letter and published comments to that letter.

I am neither an illegal border jumper, dead, or on welfare, and I have voted in every presidential election since 1976 when I turned 18 years old. I voted for Obama in 2008 and will do so again in November so does that make Woody's comments mute? As for Daisy, unemployment has slowly been dropping and inflation is non-existent so I am not sure from where she gets her facts. The truly sad part is that there are many people on both sides of the political aisle that have ideas that could address our country's problems but instead of working together they engage in ridiculous finger pointing and blatant fact bending making it that much harder for the electorate to make the right choice.

The good news is that despite the prevalence of sound bites in place of sound policy, America is still the place to be for opportunity and freedom, and despite the fact that many voters don't have a clue, there will be a man of integrity and vision in the White House for the next four years. Which man we choose is yet to be determined but at least we have the precious right to vote and choose. Let's work together to help each other make that choice and stop all the grade school playground name calling.

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