The political theater of the Democrat and Republican national conventions strengthened my lack of faith in both of the dominant political parties. Watching chairs at each convention conduct so-called "voice votes" for which the results were predetermined was a great reminder that in these parties, the number one concern is consolidation and protection of party power. It was a great reminder of why more voters need to look at so-called "third party" candidates, two of whom (Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein) are receiving federal matching funds and are expected to be printed on enough states' ballots to potentially secure 270 electoral votes, and yet neither of whom will be invited to the upcoming presidential "debates." The DNC and RNC reinforced my belief that it's long past time for some fresh ideas to break out of the constant two-party stalemate.
-- RICK RIENSCHE, West Richland
Ready for a change
How was I affected? Well I had hoped that Mr. "Hope and Change" would have some good ideas on how to clean up our $16 trillion national debt or how to keep Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net social programs from going under, but all I heard was more oratory and little substance. It was pretty much what he promised in 2008, and look where we are now. I had hoped to hear some fine speeches from his supporters on these same subjects but all I heard was that I had to pay for someone else's birth control; it's a "right" after all
Well, since birth control is a "right" that should be paid by all of us so some 30-year-old college student can sleep around safely, then how about our Second Amendment rights actually enumerated in our Constitution and re-affirmed by the Supreme Court. Every one should pay for my fire arms and ammunition so I can "Protect myself" according to my "lifestyle" choice.
The Republican Convention was a bit more inspiring in as much as their candidates and supporters actually talked about tackling the weighty issues of our day in a practical adult manner. They want to actually save us from bankruptcy and make our safety nets secure for my great-grandkids, of whom I have a growing number, without the kids having to live a reduced life style from trying to pay down the money we have borrowed from China.
I must say that I was impressed with the fine women who spoke at the Republican Convention. They were intelligent, lucid, inspiring and talked about really weighty issues rather than the so called "War on Women." What war?
I think I will take a chance on Romney/Ryan. I've had enough of amateur leaders who don't seem to be able to grow into the job. Another four years of this? Give me a break!
-- ROGER LAHTI, Kennewick
After watching the conventions (revival meetings), politics appears to becoming more and more like a "primitive" religion.
Each party has its own savior, devil (the others' candidate), damnation (and hence salvation), and dogma.
The clergy, and priests are various political pundits, who proceed to "teach the Truth," but actually to proselytize. Blasphemy is the voice of disagreement.
Party platforms and the Constitution are the "holy writ," often interpreted and parts reprioritized.
The wealthy, and big business are those most blessed by God (i.e., the Invisible Hand) for their arduous study and faithful work. Their opinion and welfare is the most important, and because of this, we should reduce their taxes, and regulations (financial and other).
Conservative "dogma" includes: Government is bad, competition is good (cooperation is bad?), the debt (and deficit) are bad, media, unions, and gun-control are also, and reducing taxes is good (even though taxes are the least they've been in over 50 years). Liberals have their own dogma.
And, how long will each remain true? "Even unto the end of the world. Amen"
Some remember when we were not as doctrinaire. When voters could agree (and disagree) with several points each candidate offered. Today, candidates in order to avoid disagreement, say little that can be disagreed with. People were confident of candidates intentions (on both sides).
That neither was trying to destroy America, "taxing and spending" every opportunity they had, or held very little similarity to Hitler (internally, or externally). Bribes (now blessed by PACs, and called "anonymous campaign contributions") were rarer, and usually a matter of some embarrassment.
Like "drinking and driving," let's "keep religion and politics separate."
-- D. L. (ANDY) ANDERSON, Richland