Letters to the editor on ugly campaigns, truth in politics, Corrie, religion in school, guns
09/01/2012 12:00 AM
08/31/2012 5:56 PM
Campaigns shouldn’t be so mean-spirited
Clearly, Kansas is in the midst of an ideological battle between moderates and conservatives. This battle does not need to be, nor should it be, mean-spirited.
I have been and continue to be actively involved in the state Senate campaign for my son, Wichita City Council member Michael O’Donnell. As is the case in so many political races, his primary race became ugly. I’m not endorsing or criticizing any of the specific events of either campaign, but I feel the general tenor of the dialogue should be addressed.
Disagreement is expected, and even aggressive political attacks are the norm, but attacks on appearance and character are mean-spirited.
As I went door-to-door campaigning for my son in his race against Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, I expressed that Schodorf has served her district honorably but she is more moderate, and if that is your ideology, then you should vote for her.
As I read The Eagle online, I also would read the comments after the articles, and I was very disheartened with the mean spirit of many of the commentators. Again, good people can disagree, but we do not have to be ugly.
Truth in politics
I think it’s time we insisted on truth in political campaigns. If we can have truth in advertising, we should be able to have truth in politics. The First Amendment should not include lies to the public when it comes to something as important as selecting our leaders.
All campaign ads should be required to pass the truth test by a nonpartisan board. Any ad not passing the truth test shouldn’t be aired. If an ad gets through and is aired before being found to be false, the responsible party should be required to make a public correction and apology, and pay a heavy fine.
Rachel Corrie was a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement, working nonviolently for peace in the Rafah region of southern Gaza, Palestinian territories. Wearing a bright red vest, standing in front of the home where she was staying with a doctor’s family, she was crushed by an American-built Israeli bulldozer that was attempting to demolish the home behind her.
There were many eyewitnesses to the tragedy. The bulldozer driver claims he did not see her. This week, after a seven-year court battle, the family and human rights lost as Judge Oded Gershon ruled that neither the Israeli government nor the Israeli military was responsible for Corrie’s death. In fact, Gershon blamed Corrie for her own death.
The Corrie family members were asking for a symbolic $1 in compensation and the payment of court fees. What they really wanted and, in my opinion, deserved was the admission by Israel of gross civil and military negligence and guilt.
But a larger issue comes into focus with this case: According to Israeli law, only Israeli citizens and those individuals holding international passports can sue the state of Israel. So Palestinians have no chance to even attempt, in an Israeli court, a just resolution for the countless violations to their human rights and the thousands of deaths they have suffered.
I still have the Bible I was given when I was in elementary school. And personally I’m getting a little tired of the Great Plains Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and atheist groups foisting their views on the rest of us (“Schools not in God business,” Aug. 22 Letters to the Editor).
Jesus was a historical figure, as were Buddha, Muhammad and others. We are a predominantly Christian nation with a tolerance for other religions. For our children to be truly educated, I would expect schools to have the leeway to address the various religions and the good they espouse.
If some group wants to hand out fliers, Bibles, Qurans or whatever for the kids to take home, I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t see it as an endorsement of any religion or proselytizing, and the parents are free to deal with any materials as they see fit.
JERRY W. DAVIDSON
Guns out of hand
Hardly a day passes that we don’t hear of another shooting by someone packing a gun. The concealed-weapons law is bad enough to cause businesses to post signs on their doors to keep out people with guns. But the National Rifle Association and narrow-minded politicians passed a law in Kansas in 2007 that prohibited cities from banning the open carry of guns.
The general public, police departments and numerous businesses are crying out for this gun situation to come to a stop.
The NRA is lying when it says that guns are here to protect us. If you pack a gun for fear of others or have an anger problem, you need a psychiatrist to get you back on track in the real life.
Contact your federal and state representatives, and let them know you want this out-of-hand gun situation stopped.
AARON J. LODER
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