Regarding your Jan. 27 editorial "An 'Electable' Candidate": You state that the reason people are interested in defeating President Bush is because they are "angry" over issues such as the war in Iraq. This is an oversimplification of the position of many Democrats, who are not just angry with Mr. Bush, but fearful of the path down which he is leading our country. The hope to defeat Bush is a policy-driven position, one that strives to bring our country back from the anti-working-class, anti-civil rights nation that Bush is leading us to become.
It's disturbing to see that America are willing to settle just for the candidate who can beat President Bush, without asking that person to be specific on how he would bring progress and security to America.
Here are a few specific questions I would like to have answered by the candidates:
(1) What is your plan to reverse the almost daily loss of American lives in Iraq?
(2) What legislation would you enact to bring more living-wage jobs to Americans who are willing to work hard?
(3) What is your plan to ensure that all Americans have affordable healthcare, and how would you pay for it?
I would vote for the Democrat most likely to defeat President Bush. That Bush might be given another term in which to appoint Supreme Court and other federal judges is of special concern owing to the long-term effects involved. Any of the Democrats would appear to be an improvement.
Regarding Eilene Zimmerman's Jan. 27 Moral Dilemma "A stand for principle, bumper to bumper": Bumper stickers have become the culture's shorthand method of communicating everything from existentialist angst to redneck bravado. Likewise, the vehicles people choose to drive make a statement about them. Put the two together and the message becomes, well, loud and clear. Maybe too loud and too clear.
My neighbor drives a Volvo with a "World Peace" bumper sticker; I drive a Dodge diesel truck that has a "Whirled Peas" bumper sticker. I think mine is funny and he probably thinks his is important. Am I poking fun at him? You betcha. Is he poking fun at me? No. He's communicating a complex ideal with a simple cliché. The point? I wish I knew.
Regarding Barbara Curtis's Jan. 21 essay "Hacking our way to peace": Back in the 1970s, my wife and I decided to rent out our home when we traveled 125 miles away to teach journalism at Bowling Green State University. One day an anxious tenant called to say we ought to get back in a hurry because a neighbor had started felling a row of poplars. Even though the trees were on our property they were too close to the site of a dog run he wanted to build on his side of the line.
By the time we got there, of course, the trees were all down so all we did was make the neighbor, who really was a nice guy with whom we'd had no prior trouble, aware that we weren't happy and left it at that.
I suppose we might have had an angry confrontation and we might have discussed compensation, but the former wouldn't have changed anything, and the monetary or even esthetic loss wouldn't have amounted to that much. As I learned later in completing a doctorate in interpersonal communication, sometimes the best way to resolve a situation is to just walk away from it.
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