By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
LETTER OF THE WEEK
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.
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
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 themnot 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.
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.
Tijeras, New Mexico
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.
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.
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.
There isn't enough honor in this administration for the truth to come out. I would respect Bush if he admitted 9-11 was a possibility and he'd prepared for it, but I know this will never happen.
All any American can do to better our chances of returning to a country resembling normalcy is to vote this group of egomaniacs out of office.
The Ridgeway and the wrong way
Re James Ridgeway's " 'Terror' on Election Day!" [villagevoice. com, July 16]:
I saw no reason for Ridgeway to bring up the possibility of some scary scenario occurring on voting day. Not even Bush and his cronies are that crazy! Let's just vote him out the old way. The article just may scare enough people out of voting, no matter what the neocons do.
Wait till you read what we say about The Village
Re Michael Atkinson's "I Was Bourne, But . . . " [July 21-27]:
It would have been nice if Michael Atkinson had not blown one of the major plot points in The Bourne Supremacy when he reviewed the film. Stating that Marie dies in the film, without indicating that there are spoilers in the review, is totally unprofessional in my opinion.
Michael Atkinson replies: C'mon, the unwritten rule is, if it happens in the first 20 minutes, it's exempt from spoilerhood. It wasn't anything some of the trailers didn't tell you.
Re Wayne Barrett's "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" [July 28- August 3]:
Barrett attacks Hillary Clinton from the left. This is like attacking Ronald Reagan from the right in order to make him look like a moderate.
More realistically, the attack is an attempt at wishful thinkingapparently Barrett really believes that Kerry will win, and that Hillary will be too old to run in 2012. Does he really think that he knows better than Clinton regarding what's best for her? How many elections has Barrett won?
Even National Public Radio is beginning to realize that the natural constituency of the Democratic Party, organized labor, is aware that the invasion of Iraq was necessary in order to have a beachhead to fight global-imperialist, cutthroat, radical Islam over there rather than over here.
Del Ray Beach, Florida
Re Elizabeth Mendez Berry's "Politics as Unusual" [villagevoice.com, July 23]:
I was amused with the depiction of Columbus, Ohio, as being a "dependably Republican town." It's funny reading of the "strong" Republican leanings in Columbus when one takes into consideration that the mayor is a Democrat and the seven members that make up the city council are all Democrats. The city attorney of Columbus is also a Democrat, as well as the president of the board of education, in addition to the county treasurer.
While it is true that no Republican has won the presidency without carrying Ohio, that does not mean that one can make a blanket statement and hope for it to stick. While Columbus is in no shape or form as liberal as New York, I would argue that it is not as conservative as Berry would make it seem.
Danny D. Hairston Jr.
Elizabeth Mendez Berry replies: Hairston is right. I oversimplified Columbus's political dynamic: In the 2000 election, Franklin County, which includes Columbus, went Republican, but I'm sure the suburbs contributed to that more than the city's core. It was a close one regardless. Thanks for the clarification. [The article has since been corrected.]