Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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. . . .

The Mandate from Bush‘s Victory

George Foster - November 11th, 2004
I can’t help but scratch my head when overhearing acquaintances talking of George W. Bush’s victory over John Kerry on November 2.
Republicans are absolutely crowing about how “decisive” Bush’s win was - the first president to be elected with over 50% of the vote since George H.W. Bush in 1988. On the other hand, some of my Kerry-supporting friends are bitterly talking of moving abroad from their feeling that right-wing extremists are taking over this country.
Take a deep, deep breath, people. Our country is still split almost equally between Republican and Democratic voters - as it was four years ago. The only difference this time is that the Supreme Court didn’t have to break the deadlock.
The truth is that President George W. Bush was returned to office by the tiniest margin of popular votes for any president reelected in history - 3% more votes than John Kerry. The other 13 presidential reelection winners averaged about a 15% margin over the second place candidate.
No sitting war president has ever lost his reelection bid, though George W. Bush came the closest in last week’s election. By contrast, previous commander-in-chiefs Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt received about a 10% advantage in the popular vote during their reelections.
All of the discussion about moral values deter-mining this election is absurd. With the long list of problems this nation is facing, no one can con-vince me Bush won this election because he is perceived to be more religious than John Kerry. George W. Bush was reelected because no commander-in-chief has ever been kicked out of office during major military battle - for good reason. For instance, historians shudder to think of a scenario in which Lincoln lost his reelection bid during the Civil War.
Polls show that today almost half of all Americans don’t even think our military should be in Iraq. Yet, American voters tend to give their president the benefit of doubt during conflicts where the cost is the greatest - American lives. Maybe the most stunning proof of this “no-change” rule is that even in the midst of the Vietnam quagmire, Richard Nixon was returned to office by landslide in 1972. This president had a 30% advantage of popular vote over war hero George McGovern that year. Americans stuck by Nixon even after American deaths pushed near 50,000 in an unpopular war that got worse under Nixon’s watch.
We all have a responsibility to help bring this nation back together but it starts at the top. If George W. Bush has a mandate from the voters in this close election, it is that there is no mandate. On the heels of this election, our country is bitterly divided down the middle and will need healing in order to resolve the overwhelming challenges of the future.
Though the 2004 voting results are a mixed message from the electorate, our 43rd president doesn’t need to worry about any more elections. In part, for that reason, we can all be hopeful that George W. Bush will follow through with his recent pledge to do more in his second term to reach out and help unite our country.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations”. -Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address.
 
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