Thursday, September 18, 2008

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor

(originally published by OpEdNews)

Although it appears that I’ve chosen Alaska and Arizona purposely to check out letters to the editor from the states who gave us the Republican Party’s ticket, that’s not how I work it.

When I moved from Connecticut to California, I was told that I was moving to “The Left Coast”. I was excited to be moving to a state where almost everyone I might run in to would be a die hard Progressive.

However, I’ve come to call my home town “a red state”. I’ve found plenty of debatable opinions in my local paper, The Contra Costa Times. Lately, however, there seems to be some kind of enlightenment happening in my home town. Go figure.

Consequently, I first scan the letters from The Times. If there’s no bait there, I move on.

What I do is to go to Online Newspapers. Despite the name, these newspapers aren’t solely online papers as, say, OEN is. These are newspapers whose main audience might purchase them in print form, but also have an online site as well.

I figure if I hit the newspapers by state in Alphabetical order, I’d be more likely to get a diverse cross section of states and outlooks. Hence, I started by looking at Alabama, where, and this may have been inattention on my part, I found no “letters to the editor” in any of that state’s newspapers. I know I overlooked something and my intention is to return to that state.

The next state in line is Alaska. Consequently, I wrote yesterday’s “Palin unpopularity contest” piece.

Well, guess what’s after Alaska? You got it.

Today’s “debatable opinion” comes from the Arizona Daily Star.

I’ll not rewrite yesterday’s column, but I must note the following fact.

Out of eight letters, five were specifically about John McCain. Of those five, one supported McCain and four, that’s right, four were non supportive.

The letter that supported McCain was entitled “McCain, Palin will bring change”. The writer of this letter need not feel alone as, indeed, McCain and his surrogates have been spewing this nonsense throughout this campaign.

Obama got it right yesterday when, noting McCain’s twenty-six years in Washington, said of Washington’s “ole boy network”, “In the McCain campaign, that’s called a staff meeting.”

On the other hand, the writer is correct in implying that Palin would be a change from the Beltway crowd. Unfortunately, he also said that the McCain/Palin ticket has “the experience, knowledge and backbone to meet bipartisanship resistance head on”.

While the twenty-six years mentioned above validates the experience statement as far as McCain is concerned, Palin’s meager political background as mayor of the very small town of Wasilla, Alaska and as governor of Alaska for two years does not stand up to the “experience” test.

Her lack of knowledge concerning possibly the most radical change in America’s foreign policy may not withstand the “knowledge” test. What makes the fact that Palin has (or at least until recently had) no idea of what The Bush Doctrine involves even more astonishing is that the doctrine was put forth and is actually named after not only the commander and chief of our military, but the official head of the Republican Party.

There is one shining light, however, in Palin’s not knowing what The Bush Doctrine is. If she ever takes the oath of office to become president of The Former United States of America, she will no doubt promote that doctrine, albeit unwittingly.

To friendship,

“Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.” - Edgar Watson Howe

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