- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 4, 2004

Why John Kerry lost

Cutting through the underbrush of political rhetoric, it is becoming clear that Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, lost and that President Bush won the election because of voter perceptions about their character rather than about the specifics of the policy issues they advocated (“Four more years,” Page 1, yesterday).

Of course, the great bulk of traditional Democrats and Republicans voted their party, but the “undecided” who gave Mr. Bush the decisive margin of 3.5 million votes were swayed more by their assessment of the candidates’ character than by issues.

These “undecided” voters didn’t live in New York City or Hollywood, but in neighborhoods and small towns across America. They rejected the shibboleths of the politically correct. They saw in Mr. Bush a reflection of their own virtues — the centrality of the traditional family, integrity, steadfastness and courage.

They felt that Mr. Kerry — the sometime soldier and longtime senator — was wanting in these virtues. Instead of steadfastness, they sensed vacillation and opportunism. They were repelled by frivolous Kerry supporters from the entertainment world, and backers like Michael Moore whose movie, “Fahrenheit 911” gave aid and comfort to the terrorists. They were also disgusted by the anti-America raging of billionaire George Soros, who gave millions to the Kerry campaign. They saw in George W. Bush and his family a reflection of themselves.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER

Chevy Chase.

‘Wake up and listen’

With all due respect to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, she misstates the soul of the Democrat Party (“Stoic losers disdain change,” Page 1, yesterday). The soul of that party is, as we have heard from Democrats talking to other Democrats, about changing America. Changing America means changing the people of America, in our habits, our expressed attitudes, in how we live and how well we live.

To liberal Democrat elites, the people are a liability. We’re dumb. We consume too much of needed resources. We are irresponsible. We are mindlessly violent. We believe in fairy tales like God. We pollute simply by existing. There should be fewer of us.

A trend can be seen of Democrats capable of reason now becoming Republicans or independents. The residual Democrats can’t change, can’t adapt, can’t love, can’t be befriended and can’t be reached out to. They can only resent those who deny them power because to them power is life.

CHRISTOPHER J. HOLLINS

Charlotte, N.C.

In response to Nancy Pelosi’s comment, I would like to say we Americans are highly educated about the Democratic Party’s view. That is why your party lost the election. Democrats need to wake up to the fact that it is not the American people who need to be educated about the Democratic Party, but that the Democratic Party needs to be educated about how we average American people feel and think. Otherwise, the Democrats will continue to lose elections. You forgot who you work for. … Wake up and listen to what America is saying.

KRYSTYNE REED

Fredericksburg, Va.

Moral standards are necessary

Susan Hamburger made some interesting remarks about the election, but I’m not sure she would want to stick with them consistently (Letters, yesterday).

She would prefer to “accept people as they are and let them live the lifestyle they choose.” Sounds fair. Does she mean to include sex offenders, too? How about junkies and thieves? Or should we, as a society, have some legal means by which their lifestyles should be controlled?

Observing that not all believe the Bible’s teachings, she gripes that “the religious ideas of others” would constrain them just the same. Funny, but it seems it was just such “religious ideas” which brought the modern civil- rights movement to the fore in this country and informed segregationists that their chosen “lifestyle” of “whites only” was no longer acceptable in decent society. Would she have complained, in 1963, that Martin Luther King was a religious zealot and was forcing others to submit to biblical fanaticism?

Mrs. Hamburger says she wants stem cell research, which is her right to advocate. But to force others who don’t share her moral view of the universe to pay for it contradicts her stance that we are all entitled to live free from the convictions of others. Would she like to pay for my slaves if I could legally have some?

There are two opposite extremes here: Either everyone is free to pursue his desires at his own expense or we impose standards at everyone’s expense.

There are problems with both, but a society with no boundaries cannot exist for long. We have been shedding boundaries for decades now, and a cursory check of the TV lineup tells us we’ve fallen a long way.

That’s why there’s so much red in the election map. The NASCAR values are prevailing over those of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

JACK WEBB

Springfield

What were they thinking?

Alas, Marion Barry, once dubbed “mayor for life,” has been elected, once again, to public office (“Barry back on council after Ward 8 landslide,” Metropolitan, Wednesday).

Here we have a public figure, caught red-handed on national TV indulging in a drug that has almost single-handedly destroyed the structure of the black family and community, voted back into public office. What can my people, black Washington voters, be thinking? What miracles do they think Mr. Barry can perform, looking frail and fragile, to change one of the poorest neighborhoods in the District, a neighborhood plagued by drugs, unemployment, babies having babies, high school dropouts, new HIV cases and black-on-black crime?

What black D.C. voters need to do is concentrate on making better choices, voting and otherwise.

PAMELA A. HAIRSTON

Washington

Oil reserves available

A central tenet of Ibrahim M. Oweiss’ piece (“Supply, demand and oil,” Op-Ed, Monday), that the world is running out of oil reserves, ignores the huge reserves of super heavy oil in Alberta, Canada, and in the Orinico River area of Venezuela. It is estimated that Alberta’s oil sands have 2.2 trillion barrels of oil in place, 20 percent to 50 percent of which are recoverable with current technology. The Orinico Belt has 1.2 trillion barrels of oil in place, 20 percent to 30 percent of which is recoverable with today’s technology. Thus, these two areas have approximately 650 to 1,400 billion barrels of recoverable oil. This means that the world has 50 percent to 100 percent more oil than the commonly accepted estimate of 1.3 trillion barrels of oil reserves, since these estimates exclude super-heavy oil (i.e., bitumen) reserves.

Historically, super-heavy oil was not included in oil reserve calculations because it was thought to be uneconomical to extract and convert this tar-like oil into syncrude (i.e., synthetic crude oil). But technological advances and economies of scale have brought the total cost of producing syncrude below $20 per barrel. These are not theoretical numbers, as the six operating heavy oil projects (four in Venezuela and two in Canada) are already producing close to 1.0 million bbl/day of syncrude.

BEN ZIESMER

Sugar Land, Texas

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