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Kerry acting more presidential than George Bush, student says

I am writing this letter in reference to the first of the three debates for this year’s presidential election. I hope that everyone is paying close attention to these debates and their content on both a verbal and nonverbal level and not just “voting for Eisenhower, ’cause Lincoln won the war,” in the words of a great Kentuckian, Mr. John Prine.

It appears to me that on the issue of foreign policy, we have one candidate who wants a clear plan of action implemented in Iraq and around the world in order to help us not only remove ourselves from the quagmire in Iraq but also to regain our respect and trust among the other leaders in the free world. The incumbent seems to feel it only necessary to continue doing what we are doing although Secretary of State Colin Powell even states that the situation is worsening. While the idea of the maverick loner who goes in alone and brings the bad guy to justice might be a romanticized notion in those old westerns, what we need the leader of the free world to understand is that this, Mr. President, is the new West, and those friendships and alliances this country has spent over 200 years forging can not afford to be vanquished due to an “either-with-us-or-against-us” mentality.

The topic of the debate was foreign policy and homeland security, and in this I feel that Sen. Kerry was clearly the victor. In the realm of foreign policy and homeland security, I feel that most Americans would prefer a leader over a loner, and this is why I feel the clear edge goes to Sen. John Kerry in this first debate.

Carl Root,

Student

Making assumptions not productive

I have a few responses and questions to the author of the letter “Theft of political bumper sticker upsets student” printed in the Sept. 2 issue of The Progress.

My first question to the author: Is there any proof that a Kerry-Edwards supporter took the bumper sticker and magnet from your car? Or are you simply relying on your disdain towards Kerry-Edwards supporters? Is it not possible that the culprit behind the stealing of your bumper sticker was a supporter of Ralph Nader or a supporter of another political party? Is it not even more likely a drunken college student out to have a good laugh committed the theft?

Your accusation that a Kerry-Edwards supporter stole your bumper stick was not what I found to be most upsetting. It was the implication that because we are Kerry-Edwards supporters that we are not freedom-loving Americans. This I found to be appalling. Kerry-Edwards supporters are “freedom-loving” Americans because we defend the freedom of all, including gays and lesbians in our own country who are denied their basic civil rights by President Bush. Also, we as Kerry-Edwards supporters love the freedom of our civil liberties, which George W. Bush and his Patriotic Act continuously infringe upon. So do not imply that because we are liberal and support change that we do not love our country or freedom.

I, like you, take great pride in our First Amendment right to free speech. It disappoints me that your bumper sticker was stolen because it is your right to support your candidate of choice. However, it also disappoints me that over 1,700 protesters were arrested at the Republican National Convention.

In conclusion, I do hope that whoever stole your bumper sticker goes to the polls and votes on Nov. 2 because it is a crucial time in our history. I also must caution you from making assumptions without proof because it is not a productive way to live life. I do hope the best man for our country wins, for your sake and for mine.

Doris Smith,

Student

People should vote ‘no’ to gay-marriage amendment

I’m writing to discuss a current hot topic that voters will have to consider in November whether it personally concerns them or not.

On Nov. 2, voters will have the opportunity to vote their conscience on the proposed marriage amendment. As a member of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community myself, I kept asking myself, and others, who honestly has the right, or the time, to dictate the moral choices of another? I mean, I struggle to get all of my bills paid (including my own private health insurance, plus an outstanding college loan,) and keep my house respectably clean, and I personally do not have the time to sit around and worry about how others are spending their own personal time.

I’m doing well to take care of the cats, my partner, my family, and my social and spiritual development, as well. Not that I’m complaining about these things because I love my life. However, who honestly has the time to sit around and worry what I (a 24-year-old college graduate) do in my bedroom, or any facet of my personal, moral life for that matter? Particularly when my life and rights are not infringing upon the life, liberty and pursuit of others’ happiness.

I sarcastically kept telling myself that, well, only rich (or want-to-be rich) Republicans have the luxury or the time for pressing legislation over how I choose to live my own life. And then there’s the extreme moral “right” (read: “wrong”) faction as well. They may not all be rich Republicans, but those Bible thumpers want to advocate “the sanctity of marriage.” OK, two issues with that.

Christianity is not the official religion of the United States (or else I wouldn’t be able to be a Buddhist and Wiccan); as far as I’m aware, there’s still a separation of church and state. And second, don’t tell me that an abusive heterosexual marriage is “sanct.” And, of course, lets not forget that this is a civil rights issue, and come on, lets be honest ladies and gentlemen; civil rights always wins in the end here no matter how long and slow a process it seems. Just open your American history book instead of drooling on it.

I’ve toyed with all of these ideas in my head, and sometimes it’s enough to drive a girl crazy. I kept bringing up this issue with various friends and acquaintances, and finally a comment from a former boss, Dave, actually helped me to “see the light.” My partner and I ran into him at a Japanese hibachi grille in Lexington (you know, where you sit next to other diners who are usually strangers) a few days ago. They’re actually great places for getting strangers to open up and talk to one another, for your information.

Dave said, “Well, you know what it is, right? It’s a rallying point for the Republicans.” And he’s right. It is one of the only issues that can really pull the Republican Party together at this time. They’ve apparently gotten tired of trying to fight for a woman’s right to do to her own body as she wishes (read: abortion) since it’s still legal. And Iraq … well, lots of Americans keep dying on a daily basis there in a war that was started because of supposed weapons of mass destruction (which we suddenly couldn’t find … oops!) and in a country that, well, is obviously not Afghanistan (oops!), and a lot of parents and friends and loved ones (Democrat, Republican, Independent, anarchist, you name it) are understandably upset about this – it seems honesty still is the best policy, after all. Many of these people still remember the Vietnam Conflict (which, similarly, had no clear definitions of purpose, intended length, etc.)

So again the proposed marriage amendment is the only obvious Republican bandwagon. Not to mention Bush spending energy on the marriage amendment detracts from the real issue of war, nuclear proliferation, and Americans dying, or the environment, or anything else substantial that might make life better for all humans rather than taking away rights and causing resentment.

So the Republicans’ feelings may be a little hurt at first, but in the end equal rights will win. Besides, you never k
now, Republicans, your child might come to you and say, “Mom (or Dad), I’m gay.” And it just might be your military child coming out of the closet.

Thank You. Remember to vote “no” on the marriage amendment.

Angela Cornett

Staff