Daily Letters

A selection of letters received.


August 23, 2004

Courage into belligerence

Dear George:

I grew up in a small Wyoming town in a conservative Republican family. As a child I learned that our leaders were patriotic and honest and that I would always be able to rely upon them to protect me and mine. President Reagan was the epitome of this sort of leader. I am 57 years old now, and through the years, I have continued to believe these things about our leaders...until very recently.

The changes I witnessed were not clear at first but become much more visible as time went on. They began with the obviously partisan persecution of a sitting president at the time, President Clinton, and I was stunned at the viciousness of the attacks. This was then followed by the Florida high jacking of democracy in the vote count of your presidential election. From that time on I have witnessed one lie after another...one deception after another...Weapons of mass destruction that did not exist...Iraq as a bed of terrorism...deception about your military record... record...awarding unbid contracts to Halliburton for the war...and recently your passive involvement in another obviously partisan attempt to destroy the reputation of a Viet Nam war hero who shed blood for his country...the list goes on and on.

It now appears to me that those people in this county (with you as their leader)who identify as evangelical Christians have somehow made the decision that no lie or duplicity is too big, no act of immorality is too heinous, as long as it is made in the advancement of the ultra conservative agenda. I have one question to ask you, Sir...You have stated over and over again that you will protect us and keep America free. Why then in the past 6 years have I come to fear you and yours more than I fear our enemies from outside? Why do I lie awake at night and anguish over what is becoming of truth and freedom in America? Why do I fear that democracy as we have known it, loved it, and died for it is coming to an end?

History, I think, will judge you harshly because your in your zeal to restructure America into what you must believe is a moral, God fearing nation, your enthusiasm has changed into arrogance, your courage into belligerence, and your idea of brotherhood into fundamentalist oppression. I keep hoping and waiting for some sort of sign from you that you are more than just the steely eyes and firm jaw of self righteousness that I see every time you speak. What has happened to your sense of humanity and truth?

I will continue to pray for you, Sir, and I will pray for this nation.

Age 57
Denver, CO


I miss the walls

Dear George:

I disagree with David Broder about the relative insignificance of values in the fall election. Yes, Iraq and security issues will continue to dominate our concerns, but I believe a voter’s life view - or values - will tell the tale in the ballot booth.

Some citizens have written that they would rather vote for a cartoon character than the President. The ‘anybody but him’ attitude is in vogue for many. An understanding of modern liberalism helps explain why some have a visceral dislike of the President while others reserve ill feeling towards Senator Kerry.

Here’s the thing in a nutshell: During the last century, liberal ideologues took a great idea – liberty – and then trashed it. Liberalism was a good thing for decades precisely because its main pillar of liberty coexisted within restraining walls. If you think of your ‘rights’ as the space between walls, then think of the walls as representing religion - or morality - or ‘the law’. The walls started tumbling down 60 years ago and are now completely demolished. Folks who miss those walls tend to vote for republicans. Folks who are more comfortable with cultural chaos tend to vote for democrats.

The radical students of the ‘60’s’ now run the institutions they then tried to burn down. Many are, today, the producers and distributors of ideas and values that are hostile to church, family, and ‘the establishment’. They seem to dominate in elite circles: academia, Hollywood, network news, NY Times, journalists, foundations, and the Democratic Party. Harry Truman was a classic liberal, and my hero, but he would be spinning is his grave over what the modern version of liberalism has wrought.

Unless he is found in bed with a live girl or a dead boy, I will vote for Bush because I miss the walls. Millions will vote for the other guy because they think walls are inconsequential. Our life views make us do it. My vote will be for adult leadership. My vote will be against the potty-mouthed Whoopies, against a figurative five star general committing sexual harassment against a figurative private in the Oval Office, against the fifty Senators who can’t bring themselves to say that marriage should be between a man and woman, against Mapplethorpe’s ‘art’, against the NEA destruction of Americana in our schools, and against the perky poison of Katie and Dan and Peter. It’s as simple as that.

Age 60
St. Augustine Florida


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