Letters to the Editor

Readers write about judging candidates, children and healthcare, Afghanistan, and cellphone users.

Voters need to judge each candidate on the merits

Thank you for your Oct. 11 editorial, "Inevitable Hillary?" For me, this has been a most disappointing and dull run for the nomination by the very route it has taken from the start. As a Democrat, I want to see the most capable person win, and not by what seems to have transpired so far.

Sen. Clinton appears to be the front-runner partially because she's a novelty twice over: a woman and the spouse of a popular former president. I do not like the huge donations that she gets because of the above, nor those because of her aggressive stance against Iran, nor those because of her ties with corporations and lobbyists.

I have the feeling that many Americans like to back the so-called favorite without making a real choice of their own. What happened to knowing the merits of each contender and weighing their honesty and ethics?

Why do other candidates have to point out each other's differences when the voters have ample means, nowadays, to know what each one stands for or against, just how lucid and transparent they are, and what the fruit of their labors has been?

Sandy Sandlin
Sylacauga, Ala.

Children deserve healthcare

Your Oct. 10 editorial, "Flip S-Chip to a tax benefit," about the State Children's Health Insurance Program, states: "People's concern for children should never be used as a political football." I couldn't agree more. But I would also add that our concern for children should also not be used as a platform to promote political ideology.

We know the S-Chip program works. Children are leading healthier, more productive lives because of this program. We have absolutely no proof that a tax credit system would produce the same results. And quite simply, at this point in the evolution of our nation and our economy, the "strategy debate" is irrelevant.

The American healthcare system is in crisis. It is crumbling quickly, and many American children are suffering needlessly because of it.

The "market-based healthcare system" does not work, which is why a broad range of interest groups strongly support the S-Chip legislation approved by Congress – including organized labor, the pharmaceutical industries, the medical community, small businesses, employers, and hundreds of leading health and children's advocacy organizations.

To deny any child healthcare as part of a larger debate about political ideology demonstrates an inhumane disregard for the human condition.

It all boils down to one simple fact: children deserve healthcare.

Megan Van Sant
Ukiah, CA

Blessings in Afghanistan

In response to the Oct. 11 article, "Afghanistan's green acre of serenity": Thirty years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Afghanistan and staying with two doctors who established a medical clinic in the country. I was able to learn about and understand the people through the eyes of those doctors.

It was that experience that turned my life around. I had a newfound appreciation for the many blessings that I have been given as an American citizen. The cultural shock of witnessing that level of poverty will never be erased from my consciousness. Afghans are a proud people despite their many hardships.

The article on the Valley of Bamiyan flourishing despite tremendous problems can only be described as good prevailing in spite of all obstacles.

Marree Babich
Sacramento, Calif.

Increased volume when not on cell

Thanks for the Oct. 12 article, "Chatter: no more the bane of train travel," and for passing along a tip on curbing cellphone chatterers. Next time I get a cellphone user next to me in an airplane cabin or at a restaurant table I'll just open my Monitor and start reading aloud at the same high volume as they use.

Larry Schlack
Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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