Vote independent; think for yourself
I read how state Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, is leaving the GOP (Sept. 2 Local & State). I applaud her for switching political-party affiliations. My eyes were opened in a similar way more than a decade ago.
Once upon a time, I was a Democrat (in the mold of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy). However, I came to the realization that the current Democratic and Republican parties have abandoned the mainstream. They no longer represent the ideals they were built on.
Today’s Republicans and Democrats have veered to the very edges of extremism, which breeds the spiteful contempt and polarization we see today. Today’s GOP makes Barry Goldwater look like a “moderate” by comparison.
For those reasons, I became an independent voter. I try to vote in the best interests of the community and the country. Sometimes, when both sides are woefully lacking, I resort to skipping that race on the ballot. I’d rather not vote for one particular office when I don’t have confidence in either candidate. I don’t believe in voting for the “lesser of two evils.”
It’s high time that people vote as independents and think for themselves.
JAMES A. MARPLES
I’m partially with Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita (“Sen. Schodorf says she’ll leave GOP,” Sept. 2 Local & State). Her comments about the Republican Party attacking its own were right on. But why in the world would she consider going to the Democratic Party, which is itself unrecognizable compared with years past?
Both parties are run by the extremists. I agreed with Schodorf when she asked where the moderates are. That’s true with both parties.
I’m of the opinion that when 24-hour news came to be, that is when this extremist mentality started. Moderates are boring to today’s so-called newsmen. Moderates quietly get things done by – surprise – compromising. That’s not as exciting as getting a spicy sound bite from the extremist end of the party. Therefore, that’s all the general public hears on broadcasts.
I officially became a proud independent years ago for these reasons. I hope in the future that this group will grow and become the party of choice, so the other two or three absolutely have to consider us to get our moderate vote.
I am very much amused at the media uproar over the presentation by Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention.
He is an actor and producer, but we have never seen him as a comedian, and he did a marvelous job of playing the part of one of us doddering old men.
He didn’t use a teleprompter, and he asked the questions and made statements that old fellows who have been around the barn a time or two have been uttering for some time.
Jay Leno, Johnny Carson, Red Skelton, Bob Hope and other comedians have done about the same kind of humor, and I don’t recall criticism of any degree. But in this case, it was objected to by a very vulnerable political party. So what?
Eastwood did an admirable job of portraying one of us whose abilities are on the decline but who still can think and reason. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?
Keep religion out
While a letter writer tires of atheist groups “foisting their views on the rest of us,” I guess it would be safe to say that the atheists have grown tired of the religious groups foisting views on them, too (“Foisting views,” Sept. 1 Letters to the Editor). Just because the writer chooses to believe in his religion doesn’t give him the right to trample on what others believe.
There is a time and place for everything. Schools are for learning the things to get you through life. Churches, on the other hand, are where you learn religion. Schools should stay out of religion. If you want your children to learn religion in school, then enroll them in a church-sponsored school. But leave “the rest of us” alone.
Can opt out
Thanks to the USD 259 school board, a simple form is available to let parents and students prevent military recruiters from obtaining students’ personal contact information. Three years ago, 57 percent of the parents and students opted out of letting recruiters have this information, but last year only 10 percent did. This is certainly not because personal privacy is no longer important. The reason may be that because of online enrollment and the lack of paper forms, many parents and students are not aware that the form exists.
Parents and students who want to opt out this year still have time to do so between now and Sept. 20, the official enrollment count day. Contact your school and ask for the opt-out form. If your school does not provide you with this form, it is a violation of school board policy. If you have questions or concerns, contact the Peace and Social Justice Center at 316-263-5886.
PATRICK F. CAMERON
Peace and Social Justice Center