He's got the power

Re Rick Perlstein's "Why They Love Him" [July 21-27]: A more perplexing question might be: "Why do they hate him so blindly?" George W. Bush is a very amiable man who has brought a chance for freedom to millions of Iraqis, stopped one of the most vicious dictators from oppressing his people, and rescued an economy that was heading south. So why does the left hate him so vehemently? Simply because he now has the power they covet, and they apparently will do and say anything to destroy him to regain that power.

Robert Tannen
South Orange, New Jersey

Memo to the real God

Re Rick Perlstein's "Why They Love Him" [July 21-27]:

Rick Perlstein deserves an extra slice of raisin pie for his excellent discourse on the Bush followers.

I recently attended a Bush protest in Reno, Nevada, and was particularly disturbed by one woman who, upon leaving the convention center after hearing Bush speak, was utterly fawning and trembling with some bizarre sort of evangelically induced euphoria. As she carried her huge yellow sign emblazoned with a large, white glittering cross and the words "God Bless You, President Bush!" she viciously lashed out with a string of obscenities and epithets at the peaceful protesters in a manner befitting a psychotic religious zealot who would not hesitate to kill or imprison anyone not in agreement with her beliefs.

It was at this point that I realized Bush has some sort of odd power over those who find religion the panacea for all that ails this world today. It's as if he's seen as a genuine prophet by his hardcore followers on the right. I am very frightened of people who can twist their rationale to justify anything they deem necessary in order to achieve their objective/agenda.

These are the people we must defeat in 2004; may the real God help us all if we don't.

Steven K. Samra
Reno, Nevada

Average George

Re "Why They Love Him": I can't tell you how many times I have listened to people earnestly say why Bush is so wonderful. There has always been a strong anti-intellectual streak in this country and Bush plays to it. He's not as stupid as he sounds, unfortunately. The problem is, he sounds like the average white, middle-class American. Gore didn't. Nor does Kerry. JFK didn't either, but that was then. Too many people want their president to be just like them—not particularly well-read, not overly bright. Clinton is a brilliant man, but even if he hadn't dallied with Monica L., there would still be the shadow around him. The problem is that he is a brilliant man married to a brilliant woman. The Republicans don't like that, of course, so they did everything they could to tear him down.

Larraine Formica
Abingdon, Maryland

Knowing is half the battle

There are lots of people that you New York liberals don't seem to be aware of who don't particularly love Bush, but will vote for him anyway because his competition is so much worse. At least we know what he stands for, even though we may not like all of it. With Kerry, we won't know what we're getting until it's too late.

Dean, on the other hand, was honest and up-front about things. Many of us liked what he stood for. But the Democratic machine killed him off, like the Republicans did Goldwater, Buchanan, and McCain when they challenged the establishment.

Jeff Ross
Tijeras, New Mexico

Root seller

Re Oliver Wang's "Off Balance" [July 21-27]:

It's unfortunate to see yet another critic dismissing the Roots' new release as a play to commercial interests that somehow transgresses the fine line treaded on 2002's Phrenology. But unlike other artists charting this territory, you won't hear clips from The Tipping Point during commercial breaks or in film trailers; the fact is, if you listen hard enough you'll find a pretty nuanced engagement with this very dilemma facing hip hop, one that anticipates and shrugs off rote criticism of the sort that's been visited on this album to no end. Funny how your review fails to mention its hottest cut, "Guns Are Drawn," which combines a critique of Big Brother in the DOJ with an equally searing tune.

Justin Goldberg
Prospect Heights

Principle spinner

Chisun Lee's "Bashing Back at Bush's Anti-Gay Crusade" [villagevoice.com, July 13] refers to people who oppose gay marriage as being unprincipled. Why is one unprincipled for having that opinion? Is one unprincipled for having an opinion that differs from Lee's beliefs? Whatever happened to discourse that allows discussion and differences of opinion? Maybe political correctness now censors all opinions and even facts that are not in accord with the liberal agenda.

Personally I don't object to gays getting married, but I understand why others differ from me and do not denigrate them for not having the same beliefs that I have.

Edward Parker
Spokane, Washington

The buck falls through the Bushes

Re "Reading Between the Lines" [Mondo Washington, villagevoice.com, July 22] :

Do we need ask what the 9/11 Commission's report tells us? I know the answer: Just the tip of an iceberg that goes miles deep into the ocean. The buck will not stop with Bush; the blame will continue to be passed until it disappears, and still we won't know any more than before the report.

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