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Letters to the Editor

America's voters have spoken in a clear voice

America's voters have spoken in a clear voice

What a pleasure, what a joy, what a thrill.

Despite the far-right radio hosts, despite the slanted, one-sided, unfair and unbalanced cable news coverage of Barack Obama's campaign, the American people have voted and thus spoken.

This election, there was no recount, no legal challenge. A clear winner emerged.

The American people used their freedom and their democratic right to vote.

All the tainted reporting, all the innuendo, all the overzealous pundits — none of it mattered.

The American people showed their intellect, their own free thinking and they voted their own way.

Americans should be proud and embrace our nation and our new president-elect.

Rich Unger, Sarasota

Misguided voters

Newspapers across American brandished headlines the day after our presidential election proclaiming American voters had responded to Barack Obama's message of hope. I have a different opinion as to what the majority of American voters really responded to.

I believe the majority of voters responded to the virtually nonstop saturation advertising purchased by the Obama campaign at a cost of $250-million; that they responded to the eloquent oratory of a candidate who offered little else by which to take his measure; that they responded to the likelihood they would be able under a Democratic administration to take even less personal responsibility for their actions or upkeep; that they responded to the immeasurable free goodwill generated for Obama by a highly partisan press whose blatantly biased reporting bordered on idolatry; that they responded to the promise that nearly half of the taxpayers in an Obama-governed future will not be required to pay anything for the benefits and services they will receive from our government; that they responded to the vision of a world where no one will hate the United States and mere words will deter our enemies from taking actions detrimental to U.S. interests; and, finally, they believed that the United States will now be able to take its rightful place in the world community as a socialist-leaning peer of those economic and military powers France, Germany and Britain.

God help us all!

Ed Stewart, Largo

A nation polarized

I am always amazed when I read or hear that one of the important objectives of the new administration is to spend time and money trying to make foreign nations "like" us. Since the beginning of our nation, these people only wanted to see what they could get from us. Now, many of the people we want to snuggle up with actually hate us and want us dead.

At this point in our history, we don't even like each other. This country is more polarized now than any time since the Civil War. Election results are evidence of this, when the black vote for Obama was probably 90 percent. This is not a coincidence; this is where our race relations stand at this very moment. To say otherwise is to stick your head in the sand.

So I say, we had better take whatever measures necessary to start at home before we ship our undying love to terrorists.

Don Niemann, Seminole

It was smart campaigning

It was interesting reading the letters to the editor giving their opinions of why Barack Obama won the election.

Some said it was simply because he was black. Wrote one: "Nobody in their right mind would have voted for Barack Obama had he been the exact same person but with white skin. I have seen black people just giddy with excitement that a man with black skin won the presidency."

It's true blacks voted for Obama in record numbers and were justifiably proud one of their own was elected president. But that's not why he won.

I'm a white, middle-aged native Southerner, and I voted for Obama because I believe his presidency will best stand up for working-class people like me. A lot of white people voted for him for the same reason. But that's not why he won.

Obama won because he ran a positive and smart campaign. He reached out to voters of all races, classes and political leanings in his inspiring speeches, then courted them via the Internet and by opening local offices where no presidential campaign in recent history had opened them before.

I donated to Obama through his Web site and volunteered at his local office. I had never done either before.

Make no mistake: Obama actively courted voters nobody thought he should court, and won voters nobody thought he could win. That's why he's our president.

Four years from now, I believe America will be better off because of his efforts.

Bill Hirschi, Ocala

On track again

Intelligence, competence and judgment; decency, honesty and morality; compassion, fairness and inclusiveness; and humility. These are all the qualities that have been missing from the White House these past eight years and will now be present in the Obama White House in the next eight.

I will undoubtedly not agree with all his decisions, but after eight disastrous years of neocon misrule, my heart soars that our country is back on track!

Shirley Copperman, Tarpon Springs

Obama brings world to Grandmama's door Nov. 6, story

Making connections

What a wonderful Atlanta/St. Petersburg connection through my favorite journalist and his 106-year-old grandmother, Ann Nixon Cooper.

That's why Barack Obama's election means so much to so many. We believe he can bring America together again, and also America and the world. Like Grandma Cooper, Obama embodies hope in America's progress toward its highest ideals. As Chief Seattle said, "All things are connected."

Fran Cary, St. Petersburg

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

Give Obama a chance

This letter saddens me. I understand the letter writer must be a very disappointed ideological voter and I remember how I felt as a Democrat when George Bush came into in office in 2001 because I was among those who didn't believe he'd been fairly elected. But when a friend gave me a T-shirt with Bush's picture on it and the slogan, "He's not my president!" beneath it, I tucked it away in a drawer.

It stayed in the drawer after 9/11 when George Bush missed the opportunity to call Americans to do more than shop and failed to harness the outpouring of sympathy from other nations to fight terrorism. It stayed in the drawer when he took the nation to war in Iraq, causing a grievous loss of life and treasure. There it stayed when we discovered the truth about waterboarding and wiretapping. There it stayed when Katrina showed us what happens when political cronies replace competent people. During all these times and others too numerous to list, I spoke out against many things Bush and his administration did, but I never donned that T-shirt.

Barack Obama said on election night that he hears the voice of those whose vote he didn't win. I hope the letter writer and others who feel disappointed by this election will give Obama the chance to bring this country together to confront the perils we all face before they declare, "He's not my president." I even hope that someday they will say that although they don't always agree with him, they are proud of their president, Barack Obama.

Alison Strickland, Seminole

Forget about unity

All of a sudden, even the people who have had the "He is not MY President" bumper stickers on their cars for the past eight years are calling for us all to come together behind Barack Obama. I don't think so.

Obama won, but not by a landslide and not enough to support this delusion that the country will all line up blindly behind this smooth-talking socialist. Save all the mindless twaddle about how Obama is different. He won for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with his ideas. I will be waiting patiently until he is soundly thrown out of office in four years or less.

Darrius Clark, Clearwater

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

Cynicism won't help us

As a white, middle-class mother of two, I would like to suggest that, contrary to the letter writer's opinion, many people voted for Barack Obama based on his intelligent and thoughtful approach to many of our nation's pressing issues. My vote was based not on "Bush hatred" or "historical precedence," as the letter writer states, but on the hope that Obama's ideas and words will help unify our country to move forward to solve our problems.

I would point out to the letter writer that the policies of the past eight years have already resulted in those things he fears from an Obama administration. We already have a "weakened military and foreign policy." We already have suffered "severe economic damage, from which it will take decades to recover." We already have "mortgaged (our) children's futures" and seen an "erosion of our traditional values." To say that an Obama presidency will bring on those things that are already a reality is disingenuous.

Our country needs to come together to solve these problems. Words that encourage half of the country to "prepare for the fight ahead" to defeat the other half will only guarantee that we will not move forward as a country. And to state that "every piece of legislation and executive decision should be challenged" (though yet unknown) is cynical and certainly defeatist. With that kind of attitude, no, nothing will change. And worse, we'll be in the same place in four years while the world continues on without us.

Barbara Hood, Tampa

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

Let's all work together

For the past eight years, I have been labeled unpatriotic or even traitor because I didn't agree with my president. I was part of the unreal America — against the war, for openness in government. It's been interesting to watch as attitudes have changed. Now I'm part of the "real" America too.

I want to invite the letter writer back into America. We won't exclude him as we were excluded. Differing opinions can be expressed by people without them being labeled "traitor." This is a democracy, after all. The Constitution is back in use.

Our country is in deep trouble on several fronts. It will take every one of us working together — and maybe even sacrificing some things — to rebuild what has been damaged, what has been lost. So, to the letter writer: The country needs you, your ideas and your patriotism. Right now, the thing we have going for us is renewed hope.

Fern Williams, Zephyrhills

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

The fear machine

The Republican Party/Karl Rove campaign machine should be proud of the level of fear they have instilled in this letter writer.

Mike Walsten, Bradenton

Mixed emotions

I am an extraordinarily proud and confused 60-year-old female from St. Petersburg. I'm proud because my country, my recently chosen state and the city and state in which I spent most of my life, Chicago, elected Barack Obama as our president. I'm confused because my chosen state voted to deny in its Constitution civil rights to a part of our society.

I would like to hear from those voters who have suffered forms of discrimination and still chose to vote in favor of Florida's Amendment 2. If I recall correctly, biblical passages were used to support discrimination against African-American slaves, interracial marriage and women, so please do not use those as a reason.

Linda Berger, St. Petersburg

Amendment 2

A sickening measure

For the life of me, I cannot understand why people are so against gay marriage. I am not gay, but it makes me sick that this even came up on the ballot. It makes me even sicker that our governor voted for this because it's what he believes in.

First of all, this shouldn't be up for the voters to decide. What you believe should not impact another person's life; it should only impact your own. People once believed that blacks were not equal to whites and were not given the same freedoms as white people. Just because people believed that doesn't make it right.

People say that gay marriage hurts families by making the institution of marriage meaningless. How does a gay marriage make anyone's marriage any less meaningful? There are already many gay couples who live together, how is giving them the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples going to change anything? It won't. Hopefully one day people will realize this.

Tim Brown, Tampa

America's voters have spoken in a clear voice 11/07/08 America's voters have spoken in a clear voice 11/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:29am]

    

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Letters to the Editor

America's voters have spoken in a clear voice

America's voters have spoken in a clear voice

What a pleasure, what a joy, what a thrill.

Despite the far-right radio hosts, despite the slanted, one-sided, unfair and unbalanced cable news coverage of Barack Obama's campaign, the American people have voted and thus spoken.

This election, there was no recount, no legal challenge. A clear winner emerged.

The American people used their freedom and their democratic right to vote.

All the tainted reporting, all the innuendo, all the overzealous pundits — none of it mattered.

The American people showed their intellect, their own free thinking and they voted their own way.

Americans should be proud and embrace our nation and our new president-elect.

Rich Unger, Sarasota

Misguided voters

Newspapers across American brandished headlines the day after our presidential election proclaiming American voters had responded to Barack Obama's message of hope. I have a different opinion as to what the majority of American voters really responded to.

I believe the majority of voters responded to the virtually nonstop saturation advertising purchased by the Obama campaign at a cost of $250-million; that they responded to the eloquent oratory of a candidate who offered little else by which to take his measure; that they responded to the likelihood they would be able under a Democratic administration to take even less personal responsibility for their actions or upkeep; that they responded to the immeasurable free goodwill generated for Obama by a highly partisan press whose blatantly biased reporting bordered on idolatry; that they responded to the promise that nearly half of the taxpayers in an Obama-governed future will not be required to pay anything for the benefits and services they will receive from our government; that they responded to the vision of a world where no one will hate the United States and mere words will deter our enemies from taking actions detrimental to U.S. interests; and, finally, they believed that the United States will now be able to take its rightful place in the world community as a socialist-leaning peer of those economic and military powers France, Germany and Britain.

God help us all!

Ed Stewart, Largo

A nation polarized

I am always amazed when I read or hear that one of the important objectives of the new administration is to spend time and money trying to make foreign nations "like" us. Since the beginning of our nation, these people only wanted to see what they could get from us. Now, many of the people we want to snuggle up with actually hate us and want us dead.

At this point in our history, we don't even like each other. This country is more polarized now than any time since the Civil War. Election results are evidence of this, when the black vote for Obama was probably 90 percent. This is not a coincidence; this is where our race relations stand at this very moment. To say otherwise is to stick your head in the sand.

So I say, we had better take whatever measures necessary to start at home before we ship our undying love to terrorists.

Don Niemann, Seminole

It was smart campaigning

It was interesting reading the letters to the editor giving their opinions of why Barack Obama won the election.

Some said it was simply because he was black. Wrote one: "Nobody in their right mind would have voted for Barack Obama had he been the exact same person but with white skin. I have seen black people just giddy with excitement that a man with black skin won the presidency."

It's true blacks voted for Obama in record numbers and were justifiably proud one of their own was elected president. But that's not why he won.

I'm a white, middle-aged native Southerner, and I voted for Obama because I believe his presidency will best stand up for working-class people like me. A lot of white people voted for him for the same reason. But that's not why he won.

Obama won because he ran a positive and smart campaign. He reached out to voters of all races, classes and political leanings in his inspiring speeches, then courted them via the Internet and by opening local offices where no presidential campaign in recent history had opened them before.

I donated to Obama through his Web site and volunteered at his local office. I had never done either before.

Make no mistake: Obama actively courted voters nobody thought he should court, and won voters nobody thought he could win. That's why he's our president.

Four years from now, I believe America will be better off because of his efforts.

Bill Hirschi, Ocala

On track again

Intelligence, competence and judgment; decency, honesty and morality; compassion, fairness and inclusiveness; and humility. These are all the qualities that have been missing from the White House these past eight years and will now be present in the Obama White House in the next eight.

I will undoubtedly not agree with all his decisions, but after eight disastrous years of neocon misrule, my heart soars that our country is back on track!

Shirley Copperman, Tarpon Springs

Obama brings world to Grandmama's door Nov. 6, story

Making connections

What a wonderful Atlanta/St. Petersburg connection through my favorite journalist and his 106-year-old grandmother, Ann Nixon Cooper.

That's why Barack Obama's election means so much to so many. We believe he can bring America together again, and also America and the world. Like Grandma Cooper, Obama embodies hope in America's progress toward its highest ideals. As Chief Seattle said, "All things are connected."

Fran Cary, St. Petersburg

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

Give Obama a chance

This letter saddens me. I understand the letter writer must be a very disappointed ideological voter and I remember how I felt as a Democrat when George Bush came into in office in 2001 because I was among those who didn't believe he'd been fairly elected. But when a friend gave me a T-shirt with Bush's picture on it and the slogan, "He's not my president!" beneath it, I tucked it away in a drawer.

It stayed in the drawer after 9/11 when George Bush missed the opportunity to call Americans to do more than shop and failed to harness the outpouring of sympathy from other nations to fight terrorism. It stayed in the drawer when he took the nation to war in Iraq, causing a grievous loss of life and treasure. There it stayed when we discovered the truth about waterboarding and wiretapping. There it stayed when Katrina showed us what happens when political cronies replace competent people. During all these times and others too numerous to list, I spoke out against many things Bush and his administration did, but I never donned that T-shirt.

Barack Obama said on election night that he hears the voice of those whose vote he didn't win. I hope the letter writer and others who feel disappointed by this election will give Obama the chance to bring this country together to confront the perils we all face before they declare, "He's not my president." I even hope that someday they will say that although they don't always agree with him, they are proud of their president, Barack Obama.

Alison Strickland, Seminole

Forget about unity

All of a sudden, even the people who have had the "He is not MY President" bumper stickers on their cars for the past eight years are calling for us all to come together behind Barack Obama. I don't think so.

Obama won, but not by a landslide and not enough to support this delusion that the country will all line up blindly behind this smooth-talking socialist. Save all the mindless twaddle about how Obama is different. He won for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with his ideas. I will be waiting patiently until he is soundly thrown out of office in four years or less.

Darrius Clark, Clearwater

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

Cynicism won't help us

As a white, middle-class mother of two, I would like to suggest that, contrary to the letter writer's opinion, many people voted for Barack Obama based on his intelligent and thoughtful approach to many of our nation's pressing issues. My vote was based not on "Bush hatred" or "historical precedence," as the letter writer states, but on the hope that Obama's ideas and words will help unify our country to move forward to solve our problems.

I would point out to the letter writer that the policies of the past eight years have already resulted in those things he fears from an Obama administration. We already have a "weakened military and foreign policy." We already have suffered "severe economic damage, from which it will take decades to recover." We already have "mortgaged (our) children's futures" and seen an "erosion of our traditional values." To say that an Obama presidency will bring on those things that are already a reality is disingenuous.

Our country needs to come together to solve these problems. Words that encourage half of the country to "prepare for the fight ahead" to defeat the other half will only guarantee that we will not move forward as a country. And to state that "every piece of legislation and executive decision should be challenged" (though yet unknown) is cynical and certainly defeatist. With that kind of attitude, no, nothing will change. And worse, we'll be in the same place in four years while the world continues on without us.

Barbara Hood, Tampa

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

Let's all work together

For the past eight years, I have been labeled unpatriotic or even traitor because I didn't agree with my president. I was part of the unreal America — against the war, for openness in government. It's been interesting to watch as attitudes have changed. Now I'm part of the "real" America too.

I want to invite the letter writer back into America. We won't exclude him as we were excluded. Differing opinions can be expressed by people without them being labeled "traitor." This is a democracy, after all. The Constitution is back in use.

Our country is in deep trouble on several fronts. It will take every one of us working together — and maybe even sacrificing some things — to rebuild what has been damaged, what has been lost. So, to the letter writer: The country needs you, your ideas and your patriotism. Right now, the thing we have going for us is renewed hope.

Fern Williams, Zephyrhills

Barack Obama is not my president | Nov. 6, letter

The fear machine

The Republican Party/Karl Rove campaign machine should be proud of the level of fear they have instilled in this letter writer.

Mike Walsten, Bradenton

Mixed emotions

I am an extraordinarily proud and confused 60-year-old female from St. Petersburg. I'm proud because my country, my recently chosen state and the city and state in which I spent most of my life, Chicago, elected Barack Obama as our president. I'm confused because my chosen state voted to deny in its Constitution civil rights to a part of our society.

I would like to hear from those voters who have suffered forms of discrimination and still chose to vote in favor of Florida's Amendment 2. If I recall correctly, biblical passages were used to support discrimination against African-American slaves, interracial marriage and women, so please do not use those as a reason.

Linda Berger, St. Petersburg

Amendment 2

A sickening measure

For the life of me, I cannot understand why people are so against gay marriage. I am not gay, but it makes me sick that this even came up on the ballot. It makes me even sicker that our governor voted for this because it's what he believes in.

First of all, this shouldn't be up for the voters to decide. What you believe should not impact another person's life; it should only impact your own. People once believed that blacks were not equal to whites and were not given the same freedoms as white people. Just because people believed that doesn't make it right.

People say that gay marriage hurts families by making the institution of marriage meaningless. How does a gay marriage make anyone's marriage any less meaningful? There are already many gay couples who live together, how is giving them the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples going to change anything? It won't. Hopefully one day people will realize this.

Tim Brown, Tampa

America's voters have spoken in a clear voice 11/07/08 America's voters have spoken in a clear voice 11/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:29am]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

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