- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Reflections on the election

This was always destined to be a sad election. No matter who won, we were going to wind up with a president detested by about half the nation. I think this country is going to be more divided than ever, and to the extent that that happens, we all lose.

Presidencies have a way of not going the way we expect. No one who voted for George W. Bush four years ago thought he’d drive up the deficit and get us deep into “nation-building” in Iraq. His second term may be equally full of surprises for all. At the very least, he’s the one who got us into debt and and into Iraq, and now he’s the one who’s going to have to figure out how to get us out of both. I sure hope he succeeds.

WILLIAM C. STOSINE

Iowa City, Iowa

This cliffhanging election is the last straw for me. I no longer have any faith in the Electoral College and will work actively for its abolishment. In a true democracy the people should choose their president directly. We do not need any body or institution between us and our voting rights. I am a Kerry supporter, but the popular vote is not disputable. I believe most people would happily accept the result.

It is time to get rid of this anti-democratic institution. It is not only inherently unfair, but it is harming our country.

GARY E. KAMINSKI

Buena Vista, Pa.

In the 2000 presidential election, it took more than a month to determine the outcome. Now we have a similar situation in which the votes have not been fully counted and the balance of an election is teetered in one state. It was not the time for Sen. John Kerry to concede. No matter what the pundits and prognosticators said, Mr. Kerry should not have stepped aside until every vote had been counted.

We can’t be sure of the exact number of provisional ballots in Ohio, yet Republican noisemakers and the media say the election was over. I completely disagree. We should not sit idly by and allow this election to slip from our grasp without a fight. Until every single vote has been accounted for and counted, Mr. Kerry should stand his ground. The people would wait for the decision. It does not have to come today, tomorrow or, for that matter, until Dec. 13 (the day George W. Bush became president-elect in 2000).

I have heard that the Republican machine asked Mr. Kerry to be a good statesman and concede. I have heard them say the provisional ballots do not and would not matter. I have heard the Republicans claim victory. Mr. Kerry should stay the course until every vote has come in.

JAMES RITCHOTTE

Silver Spring

With George Bush’s victory in the election, one might claim that the 68-year-old tradition of the incumbent president only winning if the Washington Redskins were victorious in the game prior to the election has been shattered. I view it differently. The tradition was not shattered. Instead, the Redskins were robbed of victory by inept refereeing. There is no doubt in my mind that the Redskins were entitled to victory, thus perpetuating a 68-year tradition for another four years.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring

Well, it looks like it’s over, and I am so sad that I almost feel like leaving this country — unless I can find enough people to help form a separate “blue” country which we could then secede from the rest of the “red” United States.

Do you know how many Supreme Court justices with probably be appointed in the next four years and how the civil rights of our people could regress? Do you realize how much stem cell research will be limited over the next four years? Take a guess as to what the national debt will be in four years.

The world already hates us — what position will we be in in four years? How many terrorists will be lined up trying to reach us because of the arrogant, bullying president this country has? (Note that I did not accept him as my president.) How long will we be pouring money into Iraq when we have our own poverty and education problems in this country?

Why can’t we just accept people as they are and let them live the lifestyle they choose. If we as individuals don’t believe in the Bible, why are we forced to have parts of our lives controlled by the religious ideas of others? Why should stem cell research be held captive by the moral values of others, while my husband and others struggle with the ravages of Parkinson’s disease? Is that the foundation on which this country was founded? And I would compare my personal morality to anybody’s on the right, except that I believe in accepting all people as they are. How did this become an amoral idea?

If the ideals of the right are so right for this country, why are there 55 million people who don’t agree? There are ways for all of us to live together if there was an acceptance of the rights of all peoples. If Barbara Bush or Laura Bush had Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, I bet that George Bush would support stem cell research. Look at Nancy Reagan. Why does it take a close personal relationship to be affected by a cruel disease before its importance to so many people is understood?

The idea that Mr. Bush has supported stem cell research is such a farce that it is hard to stomach. All the stem cell lines he approved have been contaminated by mouse cells — something recently proven by research.

I wish there was a way to relieve my profound sadness. I don’t know how to fight the values of this administration that will affect all of us — whether we want them to or not.

SUSAN D. HAMBURGER

Chevy Chase

Baseball, health care and taxes

The D.C. Council is considering legislation to provide for the funding of a new baseball stadium off of South Capitol Street (“Stadium tax scale due for revision,” Sports, Saturday).

There are three aspects to the funding: revenue bond financing, a sales tax on tickets and the imposition of a fee on all D.C. businesses with a gross revenue above a certain threshold. The problem is that physicians will be subjected to the stadium fee — physicians who are already having a tough go of it in the District and have begun to shift their practices to the suburbs in Virginia and Maryland.

Don’t we have this backwards? Shouldn’t we be taxing baseball to help pay for health care, rather than taxing health care to pay for baseball?

K. EDWARD SHANBACKER

Executive director

Medical Society

of the District of Columbia

Washington

Space exploration and the free market

Space exploration, as the grandest of man’s technological advancements (“Bush’s bold space policy,” Editorial, Sunday), requires the kind of bold innovation possible only to minds left free to pursue the best of their thinking and judgment. Yet, by placing the space program under governmental funding, we necessarily place it at the mercy of governmental whim. The results are written all over the past 20 years of NASA’s history: The space program is a political animal, marked by shifting, inconsistent and ill-defined goals.

We have made the first steps toward the stars. Before us are enormous technical difficulties, the solutions to which will require even more heroic determination than that which tamed the seas and the continents. To solve them, to transform space exploration from an expensive national bauble to a practical industry, America must unleash the creative force of rational minds, as only the free market can do.

ROBERT GARMONG

Ayn Rand Institute

Irvine, Calif.

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