Re: Presidential election
In his essay last week ["Soylent Mitt," Oct. 24], Hal Crowther's characterization of President Obama was inaccurate, unfair and embarrassingly arrogant.
President Obama, contrary to Crowther's contention, is not a "white attorney with a slight genetic handicap." Nor is he "a country-club Republican" like Mitt Romney. While I recognize these claims as failed attempts at humorous hyperbole, they are nonetheless breathtakingly offensive.
Unlike Crowther, President Obama must deal with a substantial segment of Americans who underestimate, reject and malign him because of his race. After all, a recent Gallup poll showed that 51 percent of respondents expressed negative attitudes toward African-Americans. Not only do these prejudices constantly confront President Obama, but contrary to Crowther's claims, neither the president's politics nor his willingness to play golf make him "white." This is simply a sad regurgitation of the racist idea that Obama must speak or behave in a certain way because he is "black."
Furthermore, the claim that President Obama and Gov. Romney are indistinguishable in their policies is simply untrue. Ask anyone who will now be able to purchase health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act; ask the undocumented immigrants who arrived in this country as children but may now apply for relief from deportation because of a recent executive order; ask women's health organizations like Planned Parenthood, who stand to lose their funding under a Romney administration.
To say that there is no significant difference between Obama and Romney is the ultimate expression of intellectual and political laziness.
Raleigh pastor Patrick Wooden asked thousands of congregants to abstain from voting for president because of Obama's support of same-sex marriage ["Conservative pastor advocates sitting out presidential election," Oct. 17]. I find his stance so troubling that, as a nonbeliever sharing our state with believers, I send him the following prayer:
Please reconsider your position on voting, a very earthly issue that the Bible does not address and a centerpiece of democracy. If you feel he sinned, you should be able to forgive a president whom I presume you supported before he expressed his opinion on same-sex marriage. I continue to support him even if I don't share his Christian faith. Nobody is perfect. Why not let God judge the president, and let the congregations exert their free will in the political arena? If God laid out the rules by which we ought to live, then he gave us also the corresponding freedom to act, fail, recover and forgive. This could be seen as the uniquely human ability to live with one foot on earth and one in heaven or, as Jesus put it, to "render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Amen.
I am writing to express my disapproval of your endorsement of Cherie Berry for Commissioner of Labor [Oct. 17]. While I applaud the Indy for recognizing that neither candidate is a good choice, to endorse a candidate who does not support workers is unconscionable. Berry, as you correctly point out, has a track record of not enforcing existing laws that were passed to protect workers and has been unwilling to work with advocates to improve living conditions for workers. Moreover, Berry supports abolishing the minimum wage. Full-time workers who work 40 hours a week on minimum wage earn $15,080 a year, a salary that is not enough to live on. All wage earners in North Carolina should be worried with Berry in office, as she clearly doesn't understand what the cost of living is. You also failed to mention that child laborers are another group adversely affected by Berry's apathy. North Carolina law allows children as young as 12 to work in the fields in work that is both hazardous and detrimental to their health. Berry has indicated that she has no plans to increase the minimum age for hazardous work (even though it is 14 in every other sector).
Cherie Berry is clearly not interested in making changes, as demonstrated by her 11-year track record as Commissioner of Labor. While John Brooks also does not have a clean track record, he has at least said that he is willing to tackle some of these egregious issues. Although I respect the Indy for its reporting, I think endorsing someone who does not support workers and their children is unacceptable. Readers turn to the Indy to find the strongest candidates to represent them, and it is obvious that Cherie Berry is not the better choice in terms of deserving to be re-elected.
I wonder why your publication goes to the trouble and expense of writing and printing lengthy, detailed endorsements. Wouldn't it be more efficient to simply say:
"We endorse a straight Democratic ticket vote. Republicans are evil white men who want to steal your house. They hate babies, women, the elderly, immigrants, flowers, puppies, and all that is good and right. Democrats promise and can deliver the very essence of happiness to your front door. One exception is Cherie Berry. Hold your nose if you must when voting for her."
I've just saved you pages upon pages of printing room for local music reviews and features on farmers' markets in the area.
Re: Local elections
In the past five months I have had the privilege to get to know five conservative candidates who are working very hard to fill government seats for the conservative cause. Working alongside these five individuals, as a GOP volunteer and candidate supporter, I learned much regarding who these candidates are, and I found them to be of solid character, Christian, and dedicated to the conservative issues and platform. Observing Rod Chaney, running for North Carolina House District 50; Dave Carter, running for the N.C. Senate; Chris Weaver, running for Orange County Commissioner; Karrie Mead, running for N.C. House District 56; and Mary Carter, running for Orange County Commissioner, I have found them to be hard-working, personable, good communicators, and interested in working with issues for the betterment of Orange County citizens. None of these five qualified candidates have ever run for office. They are fresh, eager, creative and ready for the challenge ahead.
Although I'm a registered Democrat and have always voted Democrat since I came to North Carolina, I recently received a slick, plastic, tri-color advertisement on behalf of Cathy Wright from the North Carolina Republican Party. The advertisement was to the effect that if Deb McManus was elected, she could propose to bring back the referendum on the transfer tax that was solidly defeated two years ago. The advertisement doesn't claim that she would—although it certainly implies that she would—only that she could. Considering the referendum's reception two years ago, it would be political suicide for any candidate to do that, and the state Republican Party knows it. There is no evidence whatever that Deb McManus was ever considering that idea.
Of course someone could, might, do something. Cathy Wright could propose legislation forcing women to have abortions unless they could show proof of income sufficient to support the child for life. She could propose revoking the tax exemptions for churches. She could propose legislation requiring people to wear their underwear outside of their pants. These suggestions are as silly as the suggestion that if McManus were elected, she could propose legislation to bring back the transfer tax. It's fear-mongering with no basis in fact, and it's misleading. It is, unfortunately, consistent with Republican election tactics across the country over the last several years to win elections at any price, at any cost—even if the cost is electoral integrity and the truth.