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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 1, 2008 at 5:18 PM

Presidential countdown

Will the real Obama please stand up

Editor, The Times:

Sen. Barack Obama’s infomercial was, essentially, slick. It pulled the right strings, it was a nice production and was completely unverifiable.

It didn’t answer the two biggest questions about Obama: Will he deliver any of his promises and will he be wholehearted in keeping America safe for any of these economic scenarios to play out?

He cares more about snacks in the fridge than about keeping the family from being blown up by terrorists. We still don’t know which Obama will show up after election day. The only thing we know is that his whole campaign is a complete contradiction of his past record. The real Obama still hasn’t stood up. Last time we had a Democratic sweep, in 1992, all the moderate promises vanished and only the far-left ones survived.

Obama seems to play from that same book: Hide your liberal roots, put on a populist face but craft excuses and deniability into it, and once you’re in then do all the power grabbing and corner cutting with the enemy that would’ve destroyed your campaign.

Never mind that your fridge is empty — if you even have a fridge, you’re “the rich” and we’re coming after you. Sen. John McCain really is straight-talk by comparison. The Democratic platform is simple: They take advantage of your economic distress and buy your vote — with my money — by appealing to your need and envy so you’ll be enslaved to them and vote for social and international policies that you’d never vote for otherwise. Don’t be so easily bought.

Be mature and vote for your independence.

— K-Y Su, Kirkland

The better product

Sen. John McCain jealously whines about what a “scandal” it is that the Sen. Barack Obama campaign has such “huge amounts of money” to spend on an infomercial.

I’m proud to say that as one of over 3 million contributors to Obama’s campaign, whose average contribution was less than $100, I’m part of that scandal.

Think of it as the “political free market.” I’m simply investing in the better product.

— Phil Cochran, Seattle

Make history informatively

I am proud to make history.

This year, I will be one of the voters who breaks previous youth turnout records. Yes, we are excited. We have a voice, responsibility and a purpose.

Sen. Barack Obama has elicited the enthusiasm and energy of countless American youth who would otherwise not vote or stay uninformed.

Unfortunately, the more I debate with fellow high-schoolers, the more I realize they are misinformed or shallowly educated regarding the issues and workings of our government.

The most disturbing aspect of high-school voters is parental influence. Most “facts” brought up in casual political discussion during lunch periods are vague recollections of something one’s father once said.

Kids, take the 15 minutes to look up the candidates’ stances on issues before foolishly waving your uvula in the air about how you mark those bubbles; you are deciding your future.

— John Rising, Seattle

Time for a captain

Spreading the wealth is not us banding together to buy a firetruck. This is simply the government taking from one citizen and giving to another. The government decides who gives and who gets.

For the first time in our nation’s history, 43 million workers will be getting rebates, and they have never paid taxes. Who do you think these folks are going to vote for? Do you think the rebate recipients will demand higher taxes in the future? This is vote-buying.

Rebates come from Social Security; I sure hope you don’t need it.

I can’t think of anything more divisive then to take money from the innocent. I support closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots, but this is not the correct method. This idea will get votes, but is this democracy?

We have two wars, a global depression and an enemy that still wishes to kill us and would like to acquire an atomic bomb.

We forget history, but this scenario is the same seed that sowed WWII, where the world lost 50 million souls. Americans no longer trust their government and government is getting bigger. This is a perfect storm gathering.

This is not the time for a rookie. Now is time for wisdom and experience.

Sen. John McCain’s adversaries respect him. The troops love him. Crooked politicians and Republicans hate him. His friends call him a tightwad. America’s enemies fear him. His fellow POWs [Prisoners of War] admire him.

He has lived a life of honesty and honor. We do not have to guess what he is; we can measure the deeds of his life. McCain unites because of his sheer character.

With a perfect storm gathering and a ship and crew at peril, all is at risk. The first mate has done a fine job, but it is time to wake up the captain. We trust him. He is a proven survivor.

— Doug Karlberg, Bellingham

It’s pretty clear

I shake my head at the ignorance of American voters. I’ve read recently that as many as 18 percent of them, according to a recent poll, haven’t made up their minds about the presidential election.

Did you think our war in Iraq was a good idea? Do you like the fact that our government spied on us illegally and has approved torture of political prisoners? Did you like the way the Bush administration handled the Katrina disaster?

Do you think we should not meet with Iran or other governments we have conflicts with, and instead start another war with them?

Did you like the $125 billion bailout of the S&L industry in 1989, championed by a certain Arizona senator who was being well paid by lobbyists for his efforts? Do you think we should keep tax cuts for the richest Americans? Do you think that the American economy is basically sound?

Do you like having a vice-presidential candidate who has absolutely no Washington or foreign-policy experience, fires those who disagree with her and believes that God is on her side? Then vote for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin.

Did you think the war in Iraq was a bad idea, with the Bush administration deliberately lying to us to start it? Do you detest the way they illegally spied on ordinary Americans, approved torture of prisoners, refused to agree with the rest of the world to control our carbon emissions, vetoed money for child care while inflating our military budget to many times that of any other country’s?

Do you think the middle class deserves tax relief and we need universal health care? Do you think the financial advisers appointed by the Bush administration have gotten our economy into the worst mess since the Great Depression? Then vote for Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joseph Biden.

It’s pretty simple, really.

Republicans deserve most of the credit for getting us into this mess. They and their poster boy McCain, a son of privilege who has voted with Bush more than 90 percent of the time, will not get us out of it.

We’ve gone down this road before with “compassionate conservative” Bush and we all know where it got us.

— Susan Kidd, Entitat

Not enough for me

While I suppose there are plenty of people in this country “qualified” to be president or vice president, I think many of those same folks should never be president or vice president.

That includes Sen. John McCain, who has a temper and has proved to be vindictive. He claims that if only Sen. Barack Obama would have agreed to those town-hall meetings, the McCain campaign would not have gone so negative.

And while a governor of less than two years might seem qualified to some, I don’t think Gov. Sarah Palin should ever be given more responsibility than she currently has. Being pretty and blessed by a witch-doctor in Alaska might be enough for some conservatives, but it’s not enough for me.

— Marilyn Schulz, Redmond

It’s not about the money

Sen. John McCain says he’s running to be commander in chief. Sen. Barack Obama says he wants to be the voice of the people.

The dichotomy of the two candidates seems to be that McCain continues to espouse the use of a heavy-handed military to protect us from evil and al-Qaida, and he also assumes the old position that we can all benefit when tax breaks are given to the rich.

On the other hand, Obama wants to protect us from an overzealous military by using more diplomacy, and also giving a diverse group of Americans, including the poor and young people, more opportunity.

For McCain, success seems to be defined as a defeat of the “enemy” to the last drop of blood. For Obama, success seems to be defined as having enough restraint and discussion so that we will have more room to maneuver with our allies and other nations.

It appears that the Republicans have failed to notice that the electorate this time around has gotten a lot smarter when it comes to character attacks and putting the blame on one party for all of our economic ills.

The Republican trickle-down philosophy of creating more wealth for the wealthiest of individuals so that the rest of us poor slobs and Joe the Plumber can eat the crumbs that fall from their table has suddenly fallen on deaf ears.

I think there is a renewed hunger for something new and creative in the White House.

At this defining moment in history, opportunity for most of us seems to be less about becoming millionaires and billionaires and more about making ourselves and our society more responsible, inclusive, thoughtful, mature, educated and concerned about what the future holds for our children.

— Jerry Taylor, Elma

Stop the hypocrisy

I don’t know why Sen. John McCain speaks so disapprovingly about “redistribution of wealth. ” The Republicans have been doing it successfully the past eight years by siphoning money from its rightful owners, the middle class, to the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Seems he only objects to redistributing it back to its rightful owners.

— Rebecca Robins, Bainbridge Island

It’s obvious

I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and am currently studying for my master’s degree in politics in New Zealand.

The university, city and country I am in is very diverse with people from all over the world.

The overwhelming, if not unanimous, opinion I hear from these diverse peoples and even the media is that the rest of the world strongly supports Sen. Barack Obama for president.

They believe his policies will help their country as well as the U.S. They view him as the necessary and long-awaited change that can set the U.S., as the global leader, back on track.

It is well known that President George W. Bush is not liked, both in America and abroad. These people worry that John McCain will only continue the downward spiral Bush has initiated, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the economic crisis and environmental destruction.

They also believe Gov. Sarah Palin would only be worse due to her ignorance and stubbornness.

If Americans knew how grateful the rest of the world would be for an Obama presidency and how this alone would help America’s economy, reputation, foreign relations and national security, the choice would be obvious.

— Bryce Wigodsky, Dunedin, New Zealand

Time for some action

We are in a critical time. Both candidates want us to blame his opponent’s methods in government for our problems. But before we go any further in our criticizing, we must realize that the bulk of the blame for this financial crisis is on the American people.

We get a loan on a house that we will probably never be able to pay back, and then we rave at the federal government for putting us into a financial crisis.

Many people warned one or two years back that the excess spending could and probably would lead to a collapse in the economy.

Where is the personal responsibility that our forefathers taught us? Where is our American pride for hard work and freedom that made us so great? Whether it is a Republican president or a Democratic-controlled Congress, a person’s tendency is to blame anyone but themselves.

Now we have got to begin to show hard work, discipline and personal responsibility. Then we will truly have a right to criticize the government and help them make better decisions.

— Alexander Campbell, Bothell

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