Letters to the Editor

November 8, 2012

Letters to the editor on Obama win, buying election, fluoride coverage, crosswalk lights, Vollmer

When it was all said and done, it was not Mitt Romney’s religion, wealth or reinvention of himself that did him in. It was the realization for many Americans that they did not want a third Bush administration.

Voters didn’t want more supply side

When it was all said and done, it was not Mitt Romney’s religion, wealth or reinvention of himself that did him in. It was the realization for many Americans that they did not want a third Bush administration.

Romney insisted that he would implement a supply-side philosophy, which has left the rich richer and the rest of us losing ground. That was something most Americans did not want repeated. Fact is, he could not explain how a tax cut of $5 trillion from the top down would add up to a balanced budget, or his party’s obstruction to any reasonable compromise by the president. Indeed, even as the realization hit that Romney would lose, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wasted no time making it clear that President Obama would get more of the same from his Grover Norquist-pledging buddies on his side of the aisle.

Most second terms are harder than the first, and Obama’s will be no different. He’ll have to make even more compromises to get anything done. But if he thinks those on the far right hated him before, he ain’t seen nothing yet. They will continue to put ideology before country all the way to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s nomination in 2016.



Didn’t buy election

I was one of many who were whipped into a lather over the Citizens United ruling that opened the floodgates of money into campaigns. Though I’m still opposed to the ruling and believe that money has corrupted our system of democracy, I’m comforted by the fact that all the money does is buy a voice. It doesn’t mean anyone is listening, as evidenced by the election outcomes. Big-tent policies that resonate across all demographic groups and a good ground game still matter.



Fair coverage

I want to thank Eagle reporter Dion Lefler for his effort to cover the fluoridation ballot issue in a fair and balanced manner over the past number of weeks. It appears that many people who opposed fluoridation did so based on opposition to governmental authority in general, rather than a well-considered scientific evaluation of the history of fluoridation. It is as if governmental intervention, on behalf of public health, has no place in our society.

The most discouraging aspect of today’s political climate is that the conversation is dominated by those who hold polar-opposite views. The magic in the middle is lost, and the nominal distribution of what could be a bell-shaped public discourse curve is instead distorted into a dumbbell-like distribution. I’m pleased that Lefler’s coverage of this issue sought to restore some balance.

Additionally, we as a society must be more responsible citizens and seek a more rational path in discussing the options that are available. This principle applies to more topics than fluoridation.



Smart change

The article about school-crossing lights being personally activated, when the need arises, was great news (“Safer school crosswalks,” Aug. 25 Eagle). I can hardly believe this improvement obtained the go-ahead without much fanfare and was approved by city leaders, who often seem afraid to make decisions that affect the populace without a citywide vote.

Assistant traffic engineer Brian Coon and others involved need to be thanked by all those law-abiding folks who have wasted so much time over the years slowing down and jamming up traffic at flashing lights that are doing their own thing, generally for nothing. To treat most school-crossing areas away from schools as triggered, on-demand crosswalks only makes sense.

And now we can hope that those who have chosen in the past to disregard the 20 mph speed limit will take heed and obey the law. Maybe the city could double the fine for that particular offense and work to figure out a way to better catch those who illegally pass stopped school buses that are picking up or dropping off students.



Vollmer’s shadow

As the former executive director of the Wichita Art Museum, I write to encourage Wichitans to pause in honor of the extraordinary contribution made by the late George Vollmer to the past, present and future of the museum.

Although Vollmer was officially retired during my tenure, he remained an influential force in the growth of the museum. During his lifetime, he served variously as trustee, curator, acting director, patron and volunteer. He fervently believed that the museum’s first mission was to ensure the collections for the next generation.

The museum’s now well-known specialty in glass was begun by Vollmer (and his family) with the ongoing contribution of his late mother’s collection of pressed and cut glass, establishing a basis for subsequent collecting in the areas of Steuben and other labels. He also believed deeply in the importance of artistic contributions of Wichitans and thus championed artists such as Ed L. Davison.

Even during the last 18 months of his life, Vollmer continued to maintain a presence in the museum, coming to staff meetings and discreetly mentoring younger staff with a nudge here and a few words there. Wichita is lucky that George Vollmer’s shadow will forever be upon its art museum.


Fort Smith, Ark.

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