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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 10, 2008 at 3:48 PM

The election of Barack Obama

Let’s hope for the best

Right now, the city of Seattle and the country — at least a little more than half of it — is basking in the postelection afterglow of President-elect Barack Obama’s victory, and the Republicans are imploding and pointing fingers at Gov. Sarah Palin, as expected.

Obama said in his acceptance speech that he would be president to those who did not vote for him. I didn’t vote for Sen. John McCain, but I did not vote for Obama either. At this point, neither party deserves the accolades that they heap upon themselves.

They are living off past glories and accomplishments long-forgotten, and know nothing but how to deceive the people and hold onto power. I find myself wondering, why did we elect this man? Was it out of naivete?

Do we really believe he can fulfill all of his promises? Will he be president for all? Did we elect him out of past guilt? Did we elect him so that we can be the first country outside of the African continent to have a president of African-American heritage?

I saw so many kids waving Obama signs, and I find myself wondering, do these people even realize what they’re doing? As a conservative, I really hope and pray Obama’s presidency is a successful one for the country, not just for special interests, but for all. I hope God fills him with the wisdom needed to be a great leader, to make just decisions, and to seek counsel when he gets in over his head.

I hope he avoids war, unless there is no other choice than to enter armed conflict, and to not waver when that time comes. I hope he is fiscally more responsible than the current administration.

Regardless of whether I like him or not, now that he’s on his way to The White House, I hope he knows what he’s doing.

— Taiji Tamura, Shoreline

Who knew?

Obama is black? I never noticed because I was too busy listening to what he had to say.

— James Dunn, Marysville

This is not Camelot

I wish the press would spare us the “Camelot” imagery they’re rushing to attach to the President-elect Barack Obama White House.

The original Camelot story was about an aging ruler betrayed by his wife and killed by his nephew in a power struggle that led to the collapse of his kingdom in a disastrous civil war. So closely was the story of King Arthur connected with tragedy that many of the principal medieval versions of the story are titled “The Death of Arthur.”

The label “Camelot” was attached to [Former President John F. Kennedy’s] White House on account of a single song from the Lerner and Loewe musical, but it never made sense. Kennedy was killed in his prime, and he was the one who betrayed his spouse. Lee Harvey Oswald was no Mordred; and whatever theory you entertain about his motives, his actions did not lead to the collapse of the U.S.

“Camelot” was a dumb label for the Kennedy circle and it’s dumb to apply it to the coming administration. Obama deserves to have his story told on his own terms, not as a rehash of a mangled, misunderstood old legend.

— Paul Brians, Bainbridge Island

McCain: so wrong

The political pundits, editorialists and commentators are expounding on where Sen. John McCain went wrong. They have theories based on the economy, blaming Bush, etc.

I have my own ideas.

First, he was a wealthy white male with absolutely no knowledge of the middle class, which is defined by him as those earning $5 million dollars or less per year. Good grief, many of the “middle class” won’t earn that much in a lifetime. The fact that he owned so many homes he didn’t know how many he had didn’t help either.

Despite that, he was moving right along until he named Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential choice. That was error number two, and showed how poor his judgment really was. He believed naming any woman would garner the votes of Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters. What a mistake. Clinton is strong, bright and experienced. Palin couldn’t be trusted to handle an open news conference.

Third, he couldn’t identify with young voters. Let’s face it, addressing a crowd as “my friends” smacks of 1930, not 2008.

And finally, he couldn’t get people emotionally involved without resorting to fear tactics.

Obama was so effective and positive I donated $350 to his campaign from my Social Security checks and a part-time minimum-wage job. I have never donated to a campaign before this one.

— Connie Trier, Everett

Don’t cry for McCain, Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer’s relentless cheerleading on behalf of Sen. John McCain’s failed presidential bid now borders on delusion with Sunday’s column, “McCain’s valiant race against impossible odds” [Opinion, Nov. 9].

McCain’s loss was purely self-inflicted and goes back to the 2000 race for South Carolina. Rather than stand and defend himself against the despicable smear-and-destroy tactics of Karl Rove, McCain retreated and surrendered — not just the nomination, but also his own scruples and standards as he reinvented himself in the mold of a conservative ideologue, which required him to repudiate virtually every policy position he had previously defended.

The nail in the coffin was hiring members of Rove’s staff in an attempt to poison public dialogue and do to President-elect Barack Obama what was done to McCain by President George W. Bush eight years before.

Don’t cry for McCain — his “valiant race” was a desperate grasp for the fame and power that, due to his own actions, is now out of his reach forever.

— Ron Dickson, Seattle

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