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Election letters galore: coexisting, campaign money and Christians

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We always receive more letters than we can possibly print. As you can imagine, the number we get during an election increases exponentially. We can't come close to printing them all, so here's a look at 30 you won't see in the paper.

Enjoy.

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/opinion/home/#navlink=navdrop#storylink=cpy---------

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As a young conservative, I reward the vast majority of blame to the current administration for the level of distasteful discourse this election cycle has brought. I cannot wear a Romney/Ryan hat while eating a slice of pizza in Chapel Hill without being labeled a trust-fund baby, and I resent the Obama administration and the media at large for perpetuating this unfair and un-American divisiveness.

The Obama campaign has attempted to characterize Mitt Romney as a liar, a tax cheat, a dog abuser, a felon, a murderer, a misogynist, a bullsh*tter, and more recently equating him to a first lover you'll forever regret.

If the Obama campaign and its supporters continue providing straw-man counter-arguments, budget plans that blatantly miscalculate deficit totals according to the Congressional Budget Office, and abhorrent labels upon signs of demographic support swinging directions, than that is their prerogative. What I cannot accept is being vilified by my fellow Americans because I may hold a different opinion regarding the role of government.

The sooner the left recognizes that morality is not a zero-sum game with rules written by the incumbent party, the sooner our country can begin compromising on the pressing issues of the day.

Hubert Papes
Raleigh

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I am tired of Mitt Romney bragging about his job creation (N&O, 10/25/12). He touts the jobs he created at companies like Staples, Bright Horizons children centers, and Sports Authority. News flash, retail jobs pay between $10,000-$30,000 annually, not close to the $200,000 that Romney says is a middle class income.

Almost half of the people on welfare are working but not paid a living wage. Of people getting food stamps, 41 percent are in a working household. Oh and by the way, most welfare recipients are white.  wo myths the conservatives like to believe.

Poverty-level workers can't afford to be consumers. Consumers drive the capitalist economy.

Janis Ramquist
Raleigh
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Mitt Romney can recite “America the Beautiful” all he likes, but it’s President Obama who has, in fact, slowly built back and is building up a beautiful and world-respected America. Obama’s progress toward social justice, tolerance and equality (often impeded by the non-cooperation and even hatred of Republicans) represents a future all Americans deserve and need.

The Romney-Ryan “big corporation business model” will harm America. It tramples women, gays, the poor, peacekeepers and Earth itself. That is why I am working and praying for four more years of President Obama’s courageous, compassionate leadership.

“America! America!
God shed God’s grace on thee,
And crown thy good with personhood,
From sea to shining sea!”

Nancy Corson Carter

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I was born at the outset of WWII and never before have I witnessed the "buying" of an election. Voters seem to be responding to soundbites and advertisements and ignoring both where the money for those comes from and what it implies for our future.

Just the other day, two Nevada Romney supporters contributed $5 million each to his campaign. Other contributors have done so in ways that they don't have to identify themselves.

What does the public expect if Mitt Romney is elected? I suspect that "paybacks" will have to be at the top of his agenda. These folks don't spend their money for 'nothin'. I am aware that President Obama, too, has received contributions, but certainly not anywhere near the amount that big business has provided for Romney. All I can think is, we might get exactly what we asked for.

Jillayne Hollifield, Ph.D.
Creedmoor
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I wish that American citizens had the actual right to directly elect the president. Unfortunately the 538 members of the Electoral College get to decide who becomes president. When you vote for a presidential candidate in our state you are actually voting for that candidate's slate of electors. I don't know why these electors aren't listed on the ballot so that we know who we are actually voting for.

Who are these electors ? What are their names ? I do know that independents and third-party members can't become electors. As a supporter of democracy and the idea of ''one person – one vote'', I think that the Electoral College should be eliminated. The president should be directly elected by the American people.

Chuck Mann
Greensboro

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Have you seen the bumper sticker that says COEXIST using symbols from all the major religions? How does that make you feel? Some say it is too liberal and that President Obama is taking us down the road to socialism. It is true this election will determine the direction of the nation. It is all about attitudes.

President Bush's attitude was to build the most powerful war machine in history and pass the bill onto our descendants. This way he and Dick Cheney could start wars without listening to our allies or the Vatican. Our allies are only now beginning to trust us again, thanks to a leader who is not too arrogant to sit and listen to other views.

No matter who we elect, the economy is going to improve thanks to measures already put into place. Let's give Obama and Hillary Clinton a chance to continue building bridges over the isolationist walls that Bush built.

Byron Godfrey
High Point

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Communicating with the American people is presidential! Accepting national interviews shows courage, and doing so in a way that gets one's message to different constituencies, smart. It takes more guts than speaking only at rallies attended by your supporters – Mitt Romney's chosen communication method. President Obama thinks on his feet and answers answer tough questions honestly and articulately.

Romney has refused all interviews from now until Nov. 6th. Is that because he's almost sure to say something he or one of his campaign spokespersons will have to retract? He has changed positions so often that if he accepted a national-level interview his numerous flip-flops and distortions of the truth would surely be exposed. In the last presidential debate he totally agreed with all of Obama's foreign policies that only a couple of weeks before he had denounced!

Can Mitt Romney be trusted? Does he have steadfast beliefs about anything? I've neither seen nor heard them. From what I can see, any core he does have is the pure ego that has driven him in his decades-long quest for the White House. His success in "saving the Olympics" would have been impossible without federal funding (documented; check it out) he scorns for the 47 percent.  Investigate his "successes" as governor of Massachusetts; he has distorted almost every fact in that regard.

Gail King
Raleigh
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Before blindly voting Republican, voters in North Carolina need to talk to citizens in states who are exhausted from having to battle Republican governors who have both houses. My mother is a conservative, evangelical Southern Baptist, lives in Florida and usually votes Republican. She says everyone there is exhausted. The citizens constantly have to legislate through lawsuits against their governor.

The governor has tried to force state employees to have drug urine screens at a company he has personal investment in; he has tried to privatize prisons owned by supporters to be paid for by taxpayers. Ohio and Wisconsin voters have brought millions of petitions to roll back inappropriate legislation that hurts working people. Michigan’s governor has taken over the government of several towns, removed the democratically elected city officials, and without permission, taken land left to the people in one town allowing rich supporters to build a country club. Virginia’s governor seems obsessed with ordering women to pay for medically unnecessary ultrasounds involving their privates.

There is a name for what these governor’s are doing, but it is not small government, free enterprise or democracy. Is this really what we want to struggle through and learn the hard way?

Connie Domino
Raleigh
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As moms, we dream of giving our children the very best. We wish for them a life anchored by faith and family, and lighted by hopes and dreams for the future. I know that Rep. Mike McIntyre shares that dream as well.

Mike McIntyre is a public servant who works to preserve our Christian family values and to ensure that our children will have the education they need.

As Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Mike has the courage to stand up for our Christian values. He is 100 percent pro-family and pro-life, has been endorsed by conservative groups like Concerned Women for America, and earned Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action Award, and the Distinguished Christian Statesman of the Year Award. He was also featured in Billy Graham's magazine, and has met and prayed with Billy Graham personally.

As a Christian and as a mother, I'm voting for Mike McIntyre because I know that he'll ensure that our children inherit a nation where faith and prayer play a vital role, where loving thy neighbor is a way of life, and where providing our children the future they deserve is a priority. I hope you will support Mike McIntyre too.

Theresa Fleming
Leland

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Part of the headline of your Oct. 27 lead story on the presidential race is "Romney campaigns like a president." Please.

The story says Mitt Romney tries to motivate with "lofty generalities" and appeals to patriotism.  ounds like any candidate for any office anywhere, even city council.

The article refers to Romney's "big change" slogan  – clearly, a ripoff of the Change campaign President Obama ran in 2008. Romney's co-opting of the slogan lacks creativity and inspiration.

Finally, the story says he now ends stump speeches by quoting lines from "America the Beautiful." That could be like a president – of the Rotary Club.

The article fails to mention the outright lies Romney repeats on the stump. The latest is his lie to Ohioans that Chrysler is outsourcing Jeep production to China. Chrysler publicly refutes the claim as "unnecessary fantasy" – in fact, Chrysler is investing $ 500 million in its Toledo plant and adding over 1,000 workers.  Not one to be tethered by facts, Romney continues to desperately repeat that lie in Ohio, where he continues to lag in the polls.

And the story fails to mention that Romney refuses to give any interviews during the last few weeks of the campaign. He's only appearing at heavily controlled and scripted rallies. Romney's refusal to answer questions reveals arrogance and insecurity. Not exactly presidential.

Add to that his deer-in-the-headlights performance during the foreign policy debate and yes, indeed, Romney may be campaigning "like a president" – George W. Bush.

Chris Cox
Raleigh

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The biggest contributors in creating this mess all have their roots in the “voodoo economics” we were sold in the early 1980s, starting with the flawed idea that only the rich create jobs. Jobs are created when commercial banks have money to lend to growing businesses. When the transfer of wealth savaged middle class savings, and the newly rich put their money in off-shore tax havens, the commercial banks had little to lend. The situation was made worse by allowing commercial banks to act like investment banks further reducing their available funds. Finally, favorable tax law changes condoned harboring profits overseas for both businesses and individuals.

How do we fix it? First, since Romney and the Republicans are still tied to “voodoo economics” and, in fact, want to go further down that path, we need to vote for as many Democrats as possible this time.

Next, we all need to write to members of Congress stating that: 1) They work for us and not Grover Norquist and his rich backers (tear up the pledge!). 2) They have until June 15, 2013, to eliminate overseas tax avoidance opportunities, to again separate commercial and investment banking, to begin a full-scale investigation and closure of special deals and loopholes in the tax code, and to impose realistic tax increases as part of the next budgeting cycle. Finally it needs to be clear that, if they don’t get the job done, they don’t need to worry about reelection!

Richard Wallace
Wake Forest

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Before going off to the polls next week, I would encourage people to contemplate the real impact of the oft-repeated mantra of “less regulation, less government and lower taxes.”

Things like minimum wage laws, work place safety and environmental rules can all be truthfully called “job-killing governmental regulations.” I guarantee that if we did away with those regulations, millions of new jobs would be created. Yes, regulations do stifle economic growth, but they were put in place for a reason.  

I doubt most people really want to return to the Gilded Age of the 19th century. There was plenty of work – except when speculators crashed the economy – but the vast majority of people lived in poverty, one accident or illness away from destitution. Is that a world we want to re-create?

During the last 80 years, the government has placed limits on what people can do in pursuit of profit. Of course some people wish to be free of those limits. They have begun an all-out offensive on those regulations and the government that sometimes enforces them. Do we really want to be governed by those who would try to re-invent the past? Next Tuesday, we get to decide.

Ken Jones
Chapel Hill

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David Rouzer's campaign has spent millions of dollars trying to convince us that U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre toes the party line. That's empirically false!

The National Journal, a non-partisan publication, scored McIntyre's voting record and named him one of the most moderate members of Congress nationwide. That's because McIntyre's votes aren't dictated by party leadership but by the needs of our communities here in Eastern North Carolina.

Need proof? Just ask the overwhelming majority of mayors from our district, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, who recently endorsed McIntyre over Rouzer. They've seen the results McIntyre has produced by working in a bi-partisan manner to bring taxpayer dollars back to our district.

Need more proof? Look at all the organizations from across the political spectrum that have endorsed McIntyre! Mike's voting record has earned him endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, the North Carolina Association of Educators, Concerned Women for America, the anti-amnesty Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, the NRA and the National Right to Life Committee.

Our nation is crippled by partisan bickering, but Mike McIntyre is one of the few who still has the courage to put party labels aside and vote in his constituents best interest!

Col. (Ret) Roger F. Hall
Parkton

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In 2011, the United States spent $711 billion dollars on military defense. This amount is more than what the next fourteen nations combined spent on their militaries, and it equates to 4.7% of our gross domestic product (GDP). It is important to deploy a strong military, but excessive spending in this arena negatively impacts our economy and makes us vulnerable in other ways. Every dollar spent on our military drags down the economy and slows our economic growth.

Carefully reasoned limits on military spending will increase our economic growth. In the 1990’s, our economy had a rapid expansion, in part, because the cold war ended and we were able to spend less on defense and focus on industrial production.

Mitt Romney has proposed spending an additional $200 billion dollars per year on defense over what the military has requested. If we follow Romney’s inane suggestion, the United States will be spending more than the next 50 countries combined will spend on their military. Our military spending will balloon to about 6% of our GDP. This additional drag on our economy could threaten our position as the world’s greatest economy and will negatively impact our standard of living.

Bill Jensen
Apex

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Some people think that the unemployment rate is due to President Obama's policies. That's Mitt Romney's andtThe Republicans' fallacies that they have been preaching since Obama took office. Big Business Capitalism is pretty much responsible for the loss of jobs.

Romney was just one of many CEOs who laid numerous people off, and even took their pensions – for a profit. He's no job creator. Since the 1990s CEO pay has skyrocketed completely out of balance with that of their regular employees. Their need to outsource and cut jobs for profit is the main cause of all this distress.

Great companies like IBM are no longer anything like they were in the '70s. It's all about greed now, and employee and product equality has fallen by the wayside. Voting for Romney is just like voting for more loss in jobs. Nothing will satiate the greed of corporate power. Technology is also responsible, with less need for workers. Look at the Post Office.

It is much better to do the honorable thing, and give a vote for Barack Obama.  Yes, he inflated the deficit, because he had to to avert a stock market crash. He saved the auto industry. He saved and created many jobs by controlled spending, which helped many people. We are now on the road to recovery.

Capitalism doesn't have to mean joblessness. Only we can stop this racketeering. Vote for our president, and Democratic control, so we can get what we pay for.

Susan Feltey
Durham

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This is what we have come to as a nation desperately seeking leadership. On one hand, we have an incumbent president, by all accounts a smart, well-meaning man who has not demonstrated in his four years in office that he knows how to move the country towards a rapid recovery. On the other, we have another seemingly smart, well-meaning man whose background clearly indicates that his primary interest is in making money and has no realistic understanding of the average American's life or problems.

They are both backed by big-spending super PACs that have no problem with lying and distorting any and all facts to persuade people to vote for their man. Waiting in the wings is a political landscape made up of self-serving partisan politicians whose only goal is the success of their own party, even if it means not solving the problems of the country. All great dynasties in history have failed through internal implosion from greed and self-serving philosophies. We are headed toward repeating history. We should all be ashamed.

John Lowe
Raleigh

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Mitt Romney's plan is President Bush's plan on steroids  – cut taxes for millionaires and run up the debt (the non-partisan Tax Policy Institute found his plan does not add up). He supports cutting benefits most Americans depend on – Medicare, Medicaid (for nursing homes and the poor and disabled), health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, Social Security, tax deductions like the Child Care Tax Credit, mortgage interest deductions, and investments in education and infrastructure, further hurting the economy.

President Obamas incentives helped green energy companies, resulting in 8 percent bankruptcies, while Romney's Bain Capital investments resulted in 22 percent bankruptcies (he called it harvesting companies and profited, with taxpayers paying for lost pensions and incomes). Under Obama, jobs increased 31 straight months, stock values doubled, home values are rebounding, college loan costs were lowered, a consumer watchdog agency was created, along with Wall Street reform to end bailouts, and he pledged to lower taxes on companies that don't send jobs overseas.

Romney is beholden to billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a top campaign contributor, who runs a newspaper in Israel which supports the immediate bombing of Iran. His approval rating was 34 percent when he left office as Massachusetts' governor.

Heidi Zehnal
Chapel Hill

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Pat McCrory is running for governor!

In fact, he's been doing it for about five years now. Truly an inspiring story of the American dream, the Raleigh outsider as he calls himself, a scrappy young six-term mayor of the largest city in two states who apparently has no political ties to show for it. Although McCrory acknowledges that he speaks weekly with House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, who have been the driving force of an agenda highly destructive to North Carolina families, laying off 534 teachers and 1,260 teacher assistants.

Alone and outside he is forced to claw his way through his second tough gubernatorial race with only the resources (as reported between April 22, 2012 and June 30, 2012) of 209 lobbyists and lawyers, 25 separate oil and gas companies, 36 other political campaigns and various and sundry businesses and individuals to help him raise a paltry $2,211,250, leaving him with a meager outsider budget of $10 million over the last year and a half. How can he succeed with such limited resources?

Perhaps the issues can bring in the votes. How about education? Among other education initiatives, Democratic candidate Walter Dalton pushed to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to give North Carolina a competitive edge in the global economy, and strengthened character education and school safety programs. McCrory is wagering that using public school funding to provide tax credits to the families who send their kids to private schools will be a big vote getter. You know, vouchers.

Pat McCrory intends to grow jobs – those are the words he used in the debates with Dalton to respond to Dalton's thought-out and specific answers on the subject. How he intends to grow jobs, he left for our imaginations. Personally I like to think he has an agricultural degree from Hogwarts and is actually going to magically grow jobs in a special greenhouse that was probably made in China.

Maybe, as the outsider candidate, McCrory will depend on the endorsements of North Carolina's law enforcement community. Unfortunately the N.C. Fraternal Order of Police, the Police Benevolent Association as well as more than 20 sheriffs around the state have endorsed his opponent, Dalton.

Pat McCrory was a mayor – maybe they could help him out? They could, I suppose, but more than 23 mayors and city council members have already endorsed Walter Dalton for Governor.

Wow! I guess Pat McCrory really is an outsider! He is so outside that all that's left of him is his suit, his very empty suit, paid for by his connections to the Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity and ALEC, all of them from outside North Carolina.

Looks like I'll be voting Walter Dalton for governor of North Carolina.
 

Sean Parnell
Hickory

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Voting early at the Wake County Board of Elections office was a memorable experience for my wife and me. After voting, we stood at the corner next to the polling site, waiting to cross Salisbury Street. We noticed an older lady making a left turn onto Davie Street. As she turned, she drove on the corner of the sidewalk, just a few feet from us. We assumed she had misjudged her turn until we heard her say, "I can't stand him!" My wife said, "She's going to steal that poster," and we watched her reach out her window, attempting to remove a presidential election poster from the sidewalk.

I put my hand on it and asked what her she was doing. She responded, "It's too close to the curb anyway!" I asked if she was an official, and she then drove away quickly without a word and without a presidential poster.

It is amazing that some people think they have the right, not just to disagree with an opposing candidate, but to take brazen and unethical measures to impede the process that allows us, as a democracy, to elect our leaders. This is politics at its worst!

Mack Thompson
Raleigh

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I am a native North Carolinian and current physician in training at Harvard Medical School who came down to Raleigh to help out the Obama campaign in October. Over the past two weeks I have personally put eight Obama signs along Glenwood Avenue, all of which have been vandalized and then stolen. A total of eleven Obama signs have been stolen from this area alone. In the meantime, none of the Romney signs have been stolen along this route, while some have, in fact, popped up in the very places where Obama signs stood just the night before.

It is this type of dishonest (and illegal) behavior among some conservatives that forced me to switch parties from Republican to Democrat. It is also another example in the long-standing history of voter suppression by any-means-necessary in the South. Illegally removing Obama signs and replacing them with Romney ones sends the psychological message to many voters that Romney's presence in this state is dominant, and that a vote for Obama may be meaningless, creating a subtle but effective form of voter suppression that harkens back to the days of Jim Crow. I love North Carolina but am embarrassed by actions like this.

Justin Johnson, M.D.
Boston, Mass.

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Most people who know my wife Denise and I will be surprised to know that even though the majority of the time we vote for Republican candidates, until just a couple of weeks ago, we both have been registered Democrats for almost our entire lives. Why, mostly because our fathers were conservative Democrats. Also we felt that by continuing to be registered as Democrats, we could always state our positions as representing the former conservative wing of the Democratic Party.

However, we finally came to terms that though we have just recently left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party that our fathers knew years ago, had already left us. That by staying registered as Democrats, it could be implied that we supported the extremist policies of the Democrats. The philosophy and actions of the Democratic Party the past four years, particularly the first two years when Democrats controlled the presidency, House, and Senate, were an embarrassment and detriment to our country and way of life.

The fact that the Democratic Party took God out of their political platform, then reluctantly wedged Him back in for show during their convention, was unbelievable. Instead of being compassionate and praying for individuals who may consider themselves homosexual, the Democratic Party promotes this as an acceptable lifestyle, as well as promoting the killing of unborn children.
In addition, borrowing and spending money at such a rapid pace that every baby born today, will immediately be in debt for over $12,000 and their parents over $47,000 each!

We could go on and on, but the bottom line is that the philosophy of the Democratic Party today is not the same Democratic Party that our fathers belonged to. Our goal today should be to elect men and women whose philosophy and beliefs are more in line with our own. We must elect leaders who acknowledge God, believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, and do not promote abortion of an unborn child. If you look at the records of all the candidates, we believe that both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will provide that leadership, and make the tough decisions that must be made the next four years. Its time for a change.

When you vote, remember that no matter what a Democratic candidate might say during the campaign, when he or she goes to Washington, they will obligated to support their liberal, extremist, Democratic Party and Obama policies. Denise and I are no longer members of this new Democratic Party, but we are still Americans, and citizens of the Greatest Country on Earth, the United States of America! May God Bless The USA!

Denise and Berry Godwin
Pine Level
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I remain perplexed by the reluctance of the Democrats to defend against the arguments of Republican opponents. Mitt Romney alleges faulty judgment regarding the tragedy at the Benghazi consulate (four American dead and gone). The Democrats fail to counter that the Republican leadership's lack of attention allowed the tragedy we call 9/11 (3,000 lives lost that day,) followed by thousands of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens of those beleaguered countries. Plus a trillion-dollar debt to China.

Have you seen videos of Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2008 and onward, promising that the first priority of the Republican Party was assuring that President Obama be a one-term president? Did McConnell consider the epic financial crisis, the unemployed Americans, the corruption of Wall Street bankers, our bloated military, the sickening mediocrity of our education system, our national addiction to drugs and mass homicide to be of no importance? Evidently. A Republican victory is all he and his kind want.

Rome is burning.
 

G. D. "Jake" Horwitz
Bynum

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While you have ably covered the upcoming election, I feel you should better highlight some important context. Four years ago, America faced its greatest economic crisis in generations. Employment was plummeting, and a second Great Depression appeared possible.

Since taking office, President Obama has worked tirelessly to stabilize the economy and rebuild Americas middle-class. This hasn't always been easy, but we are moving in the right direction. We now have steady job growth, and recovery is underway.

Now Mitt Romney proposes a return to the Bush-era policies of cutting taxes for millionaires and giving freer reign to Wall Street that led us into this mess. This didn't work before, and it won't work now.

I urge your readers to vote for Barack Obama.

Andrew Mills
Raleigh

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Our nation is poised to follow Greece into the financial abyss, resulting in riots when people panic about drastic decreases in government programs. Sooner or later, Islamic terrorists will strike here again. The Middle East is has become a cesspool of violence and could erupt into a world-wide conflict. Our health care system is in shambles. 

I believe gay marriage should be legal. I am pro choice. I support Planned Parenthood, although I think that in the midst of fiscal crisis, federal dollars would be spent better elsewhere. But anyone who chooses to vote this year based on social issues, rather than on finding serious solutions to our extremely serious problems, is a short-sighted fool.

So quit trying to  distract us from what is really important in this election. We need to be smarter than that. Our future depends on it.

Jenny Christoffersen
Willow Spring

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The plutocratic elites running our country for their benefit have much to lose via their continued success. These two quotes precisely address the situation:

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, (1801-1850)

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both." Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)

Eventually resistance, often bloody, comes and the fall of elites is the stuff of history: 14th century Venice's La Serrata, the 1790s French Revolution, the end of czars in 1918 Russia and recently Communist Hugo Chavez's nationalization of much of Venezuela's economy. So, how stupid it is for our elites to continually scheme for more, more, more when settling for somewhat less would perpetuate their dominance and foster a better society.

Thomas McKee
Cary

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I have followed with interest your recent coverage of the election. However, one key fact has been underemphasized in your reporting. Please remind your readers that our current president has had four years to dig us out of the economic slump, and has not done so. In fact, President Obama's spend now, pay later policies have worsened the recession. Obama has brought us ever-increasing debt and sky-high unemployment.

Mitt Romney has spent his life in business. Romney understands that the road to recovery is to unleash the spirit of American free enterprise. Only by lowering taxes and removing unnecessary regulations can we recover the prosperity and opportunity that should be the birthright of every American.

Mitt Romney is the right choice for our nation.

Michael Stevens
Raleigh

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The polls suggest a lot of Americans like Moderate Mitt better than Severely Conservative Mitt and apparently don't care that he has been both of those, sometimes in the same day. I wonder if those now taken with Cameleon Mitt are considering what comes along with him: The right-wing agendas and the multimillions of the likes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and the neocon advisors who put us in Iraq and are eyeing Iran. Are they weighing what it might mean to empower tea partyers in Congress to actually pass the crazy stuff they come up with?

Does it matter that Romney has endorsed a Senate candidate who says rape babies are gifts from God, plans to defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe vs. Wade? Is it OK that his economic plan sounds like a fairy tale and credible sources say the math doesn't work, or that he has signed Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge?

Are they concerned that a vote for Romney is a vote for the party that strives to keep certain voters away from the ballot box? When one plan gets knocked down by courts, another springs up: scary billboards, discarded registration forms, faulty purge lists, mailers that send voters to the wrong place on the wrong date. And now, deep financial connections between the Romneys and Ohio voting machines.

Sharon Campbell
Chapel Hill

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As an independent thinker, I understand why President Obama's support is plunging (11 percent of Democrats who voted for him in 2008 say they won't vote for him again.) He has spent 10 months and $480 million dollars trying to define Mitt Romney as some kind of monster. His re-election campaign strategy has had two points: beat Romney and raise taxes on job creators. The country has discovered that Mitt Romney is a warm, caring, and trustworthy individual who has been labeled "the most charitable candidate in American history." Charities help the less fortunate, not the wealthy.

I understand why Obama is pulling ads attacking Romney's character – they didn't work. Romney is the candidate who can break the log jam of Washington, which is what we all need and want. He has a proven track record of working with both   sides of the aisle. He commands respect because he gives respect. This election choice is clear – we can vote for Barack Obama or we can vote for America. We can't have both!

Jean Coombs
Zebulon

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GOP candidates have been struggling with offensive rape comments within their party since the topic of rape and abortion presented itself. The most recent comment came from the Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said, “…when life begins, even in the horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Almost immediately after the statement, fellow GOP members began to separate themselves from Mourdock, and it’s no doubt that his political career will surely follow.  

These outrageous and uninformed responses to questions about rape and abortion will most likely be the end of many political careers in the next few days, as the election approaches. These comments are being played over and over again throughout the news and being made of on shows like the “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report.” These statements deserve all of this criticism. Hopefully the election next week will end their representation, and more moderate and intelligent voices will arise to lead the nation going forward.

Ben Wimer
Cary

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When you vote, expect someone to offer you a Conservative Voter Guide, generally in non-partisan races.

Do voters actually exercise their most prized right as a citizen based on a label of conservative placed on a flyer that someone they don't know prepared, and someone they also don't know who cannot in any way explain why the candidates are conservative handed to them? It's like asking the Hare Krishna giving you a flower for a donation in an airport to tell you more about the temple he's raising money to build. You get a blank stare that confirms the person selling you something doesn't have a clue about what he's selling. It is simply code for "Republican" and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with candidates' conservatism or liberalism.

We have allowed liberal and conservative to become code words that project simplistic meanings much different than what they actually mean. Look them up in your dictionary. You will find that:

Liberal means: "favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs; noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform; favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties; favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression."

Conservative means: "disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change; cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate; traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness."

Considering the true meaning of these words why does liberal evoke such disdain and conservative evoke nods of approval? In terms of general personal character, liberal by the above definition seems to be pretty good. The problem is that we have bastardized the meaning of liberal and conservative and rendered them into code for something they clearly are not. We apparently are at the point that we can control voters by simply using the word conservative, and voters dutifully conclude that's good and vote for a candidate about whom, like the volunteer handing them the Guide, they have no clue.

Voters should exercise their precious right to make informed selections based on some measure of understanding the policies of candidates. When they do not, and they allow simple code in flyers like the Conservative Voters Guide to steal their votes by a thoughtless misapplication of the label conservative, our representative democracy suffers. We cheapen the process and dumb down the discourse.

When you vote, if you have not already done so, take a moment to ask the person handing you any Guide about the candidates (whether liberal or conservative), ask why the candidates on the list are in fact liberal or conservative, and ask what policies and beliefs the candidates have which provide some basis for warranting your vote for them. If you get a blank stare, politely hand them back the Guide and exercise your precious right to vote based on what you know and value about candidates. Let's reject "code" and infuse more substance into our political thoughts and choices.

Lamar Armstrong, Jr.
Four Oaks

 

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About the blogger

Burgetta Eplin Wheeler is the associate editor of the Editorial pages, responsible for the Other Opinion page. She occasionally writes editorials. She can be reached at bwheeler@newsobserver.com or 829-4825.
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