Clerical error led to education about pain of voter suppression
After voting in every general election since 1972, I failed to cast a ballot on Nov. 6. It was not from lack of effort.
Due to a clerical error in recording my last voter registration card, I was turned away from the polls with the explanation that my name had been deleted from the voter list.
Despite spending most of the morning in an effort to rectify this injustice, including an appearance before the election panel at the county clerk's office and an appeal to a sitting judge, I was denied my right to vote.
If a middle-aged, relatively privileged, small-business owner can have his right to vote denied due to a ridiculous technicality, I can only imagine what it must be like for minorities, the poor and other less privileged citizens.
Voter fraud isn't nearly as big an issue as being disenfranchised as a voter. Voting should be made simpler and easier for all Americans. We need a complete overhaul of our voting system nationwide. Standing in line for hours to exercise your right to vote, as some voters have had to do in some parts of the country, is unconscionable.
Voter suppression by any group or by any means is shameful.
I got a taste of how it feels to be relegated to the status of a second-class citizen, and I can tell you it was a really rotten taste. If those engaged in voter suppression felt it once, they'd stop it.
People stood in long lines, determined to wait, with the sacred purpose of having their voices heard. Where in the world can we see this Third World country's access to voting? This is America on voting days.
We celebrate the people who stood in line early and late in the day: three, five, seven or more hours to claim their right to vote. Many were challenged by shortened voting days. Others faced organized intimidation by "truth" goons. Some found their names were removed from the voting rolls falsely.
The sick and disabled voted by absentee ballots often to be placed in provisional limbo. Our armed forces risk their lives for democracy that is endangered by the power of big money and blatant lies repeated so often as to pass for truth. America is being starved by the silence of those who could but will not renounce these evils.
We celebrate and thank all who voted to protect the principles of a truly democratic government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
Jim & Marilyn Powell
Choosing who we hate least
The election is over. The winner is not one candidate, or even a party, but rather political antagonism emerging as the dominant mode of discourse.
Not simply comprised of all of the attack advertisements, this antagonism dominates our political landscape, placing public policy always in opposition to another's position. Through this logic, public debate morphs into "Obama is a socialist" and "Romney hates women," labels that do nothing to produce positive or effective policies.
I, too, am guilty of antagonistic thinking. Having found Gov. Mitt Romney's ethics deplorable, I rushed to cast my ballot for our president in order to prevent a Republican president. Nothing else mattered to me, even though I knew that many of the policies that President Barack Obama has enacted violate convictions I hold dear.
Besides a quasi-legal war in Libya and the deaths of innocent civilians in drone strikes, Obama authorized massive spending bailing out corporations with shady business practices. However, these policies rarely entered into my political calculations, supplanted by antagonism as the basis for my decision.
Many of the letters published here gave compelling arguments regarding the political decision of their authors. But more often than not, the sentiments expressed are not for any candidate, but a staunch disapproval of the other.
If we, as a country, hope to move forward toward liberty and economic prosperity, our decisions must be based on a positive sentiment about policies that we want enacted.
Our election absolutely cannot come down to which candidate we hate the least.
GOP must accept truth
The brilliance of the Obama campaign was as simple as telling the truth, something those in the Fox media/hate radio bubble fail to acknowledge.
The middle class, minorities, women and the gay community want what the rest of America wants — an equal shot at the American dream. The pasty-white Republican Party refuses to accept this and the result was a thumping at the polls.
If these right wingers want to win the next election, then they should put their money back in their billfolds and get out there and work for it like the rest of us. It's not something they are entitled to, or can buy with their millions, but something they must sacrifice for, which is something they are not used to doing.
Norman E. Goldie Jr.
Thanks for votes, education
I would like to express my appreciation to voters who supported me for District 10 council and to extend my best wishes to Harry Clarke and his family. This campaign provided me with the privilege of participating in community forums, neighborhood association meetings, and that of being welcomed as a guest in many of your homes.
I deeply valued the opportunity you gave me to listen to citizen concerns, share ideas and discuss ways to improve our district and city. Although the campaign has come to a close, I had the pleasure of meeting many individuals whom I now consider friends.
With each day new opportunities arrive for our community. I sincerely hope and pray that the Almighty will provide our elected officials the wisdom and guidance to deal with them in a fair and equitable manner ever mindful of The Golden Rule and not the rule of gold.
In this holiday season, I wish all a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for your support, generosity, guidance and votes. Remember, together, we can continue to advance in a manner that will make Lexington a beautiful place to call home.
Sandy devastation showed the limits of individualism
When reality meets ideology, reality always wins. In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, it was game over for Tea Party Ayn Rand ideologues who believe the individual doesn't need anyone or government. A "perfect storm" overwhelms our normal coping systems. Whether the crisis is environmental, financial, commercial, physical or spiritual, this kind of event wipes out people and property, shows up our collective weaknesses and emphasizes the extent to which we all depend on others. One of America's great strengths has been the way we combine hope and volunteerism to help meet the challenges of disaster.
Maybe bailouts weren't necessary. Maybe global rises in temperature and sea levels didn't have anything to do with the historic surges and flooding we've experienced. But it is certain that government actions have provided far more insight into what might help alleviate it than have any individualistic ideologies. With the balancing, coordinating and financial power of government, and with God's help, our collective efforts for good will be able to carry the day.
Thanks so much for critical first responders and for the myriad other workers who strive to keep us prepared as humanly possible for such a time. Thanks for companies who care about and plan for the future of customers. Thanks to governments for infrastructure, expertise and emergency financial support. Thanks for countless volunteers and thanks to God for his continued blessings on our lives together as a diverse and mutually dependent people.