In their respective letters, Lisa Mai Shoemaker (So childish, April 7) and Gary Woodhams (Cut the crap, April 14) both show a detrimental level of cynicism toward our political process.
In her letter, Ms. Shoemaker fancies herself an independent and labels those who see a difference between Republicans and Democrats as childish. She tells readers that nobody gives a damn about their opinions.
A week later, Mr. Woodhams follows suit by openly mocking anyone who swear[s] total allegiance to any political party and even finds political jokes from coworkers insufferable.
Ms. Shoemaker laments that there are no perfect candidates and that no party can claim to have any brains. For his part, Mr. Woodhams rejects candidates Obama, Clinton, and McCain as being equally unsatisfactory.
In other words, Mr. Woodhams and Ms. Shoemaker would like us to think that they are somehow above the fray of politics, as if it were a pursuit only for simpletons and knuckle-draggers of the worst kind.
It is precisely this type of cynicism that degrades our political discourse instead of elevating it and, to borrow a phrase from Ms. Shoemaker, makes me want to ralf.
Cynicism of this kind is merely a transparent stand-in for doing actual political homework, and it prevents one from making an informed decision come election time.
The truth is our choices in the election booth do matter, and in this election cycle there is a lot at stake. Economic and foreign policy decisions, which profoundly affect us all, dont just sprout out of the ground; they are made by the people we choose to make them, which means that now is not the time to plug our ears and scream, as Ms. Shoemaker would have us do, solely to dodge our civic responsibilities or to avoid offensive political commentary.
The president wields an enormous amount of power and influence. It is our job to pick one that will use it in the right way, and, despite what Mr. Woodhams would have us believe, there are significant ideological differences in the candidates. Furthermore, if Mr. Woodhams is right that lobbyists and special interests control Washington, it is only because we the people collectively sit back, throw up our hands, and let them.
An uninformed, cynical citizenry allows good politicians but bad leaders to seize the reigns of power. In the last few years, we have seen and felt the consequences of electing these types of people. But dont blame it on them. We put them there.
Chip Corwin Bellaire
I totally agree with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Woodhams concerning the current crop of presidential candidates and the sorry state of our country. Unfortunately, I do not have an answer as to what to do to change it.
It takes money to run a campaign and the average person who may think of running for office does not stand a chance against the big money machines which drives both parties. How do we elect someone who represents the people, if the people themselves would rather watch more smoke and mirrors campaigning?
Change, hope, tax breaks, needless wars, health care, social security, crumbling schools etc. All of these have been talked about before and every four years, what happens? NOTHING. It is also interesting to note that the three current campaigners are responsible for having a hand in the decisions of this disastrous administration by rubber stamping his every idea; now they are telling us how they are going to make it better for everybody. Where were they when it became necessary to reach across the aisle to try and do something for the good of the American people and our allies by working against some of his plans?
Our country is bankrupt because of the administrations decisions, our troops are being killed for oil and bin Laden still lives. I love my country and for the first time in my life I can honestly say I will not be voting because it will be just more of the same. Until we as a united people demand the change that is truly necessary, our kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying for all of this when they could be spending it on their families.
Marilyn Prezkop via email
Defending John McCain
In his recent letter to the editor, Bradford Krull comes off as very misinformed regarding Sen. John McCain. Krull states:
1. Soldiers dont make leaders, only followers...
2. He has a criminal past in being one of the Keating Five
3. I wish Jesse Ventura was running, if he could. He put it right as to starting war a: you would only go to war if you were willing to send your own son or daughter. Very wise words and where is that in McCain?
The first statement is ridiculous and insulting to Republicans and Democrats alike. PT 109? The Founder of our Country? Jackson, Carter, etc, etc, it seems almost silly to continue.
As to the Keating 5: The U.S. Senate determined that John Glenn (another useless military follower?) and John McCain were only minimally involved and did not receive censure. Add to that the work that John McCain has done to push for transparency in government, and the statement is even more asinine.
Lastly, the Jesse Ventura remark... First, I know that at the very least, McCains youngest sons serve in the military. The last time I checked, his son Jack was in the Naval Academy and his son Jimmy was stationed in Iraq.
I know there are many reasons to criticize Sen. John McCain. Apparently Mr. Krull cannot find a real one. As for me, I am passing on Jesse The Body Ventura‘s candidacy and holding out hope that the Macho Man Randy Savage throws his hat in the ring...Ohhhhh Yeeeeaah!
Mike Shockley via email