Letter of the Week

Morality play

Rick Perlstein's "Mourning in America" [November 3, villagevoice.com] is right about the way lies have been told to support the Bush campaign in Ohio and shift the vote. In particular, getting the anti-gay proposition on the ballot was calculated to make people vote on the basis of so-called "moral values" even when they were actually angry about the massive loss of jobs here.

That said, the fault also lies with Kerry's campaign and its refusal to defend gay marriage. Rather than mounting an ideological challenge to the right wing that could have provided a new set of ideas for people on the fence—that gay marriage is a civil right—the Kerry campaign settled for a religious rhetoric that strengthened the framework of "moral values." Why vote for an ex-altar boy with a newfound religious consciousness when you can get a genuine born-again politician?

Pranav Jani
Columbus, Ohio

Rough rider

Great piece by Rick Perlstein ["It's Mourning in America," villagevoice.com, November 3].

It does feel like "civic death" for Bush to be in office for another four years, but I guarantee he'll be the fall of the Republicans for the next 50 years that follow. It's not something that you want to hear, but this is Junior's destiny—to oust his family and its cronies from America for good. It will be a rough four years.

Atlanta, Georgia

But Teresa's so hot

Re "It's Mourning in America": It's over already. We lost. It's time to stop bitching about the past and start planning for the future. Let's find a candidate this time who isn't an aging hippie. A candidate who has actually held a job or two at one time and who doesn't have a questionable military service record. Let's find a candidate who decided to forgo nailing that trophy wife who bad-mouths the careers of others, and most of all, let's find a candidate who doesn't choose a wet-behind-the-ears running mate who prefers Comedy Central to CNN (may I suggest Zell Miller for a running mate next time around?).

Emmett Morgan
Dallas, Texas

Fundamental differences

Perlstein's definition of "lie" is simply anything he does not wish to be true ["The End of Democracy," October 20–26]. As regards his fantasies about Christian fundamentalism, I suggest that Perlstein do a little research about what Christians actually believe, as opposed to reproducing caricatures current among the denizens of Manhattan.

John Schuh
Lake Dallas, Texas

The philosophy of Al

Re James Ridgeway's "The Dream Is Lost" [villagevoice.com, November 3]: No, James, the dream is not lost—just momentarily forgotten. We in America want our oil and money and toys at whatever cost to others, and Bush catered to this lower common denominator and we fell for it. The cycle will revolve. Our own American demise as a global power and commercial exploiter will be balanced by European and Asian good sense. They will see that we have lost our way and point it out to us to keep the world in balance. It has always been this way in history. Once a civilization becomes more affluent, it dissipates, spends its resources and the goodwill of the have-nots, and loses its "power" or surface popularity. It will swing back. Be assured of it. The laws of physics, chemistry, math, and historical precedent show it. When we spend most of our resources and have to depend on others, then we will come off our ideological nonsense and become more humble and humane.

Al S. Morrison
Sculpture Springs, Texas

Tell us more about the Massachusetts episode

Is Ridgeway saying only Christians have morals and want their children raised in a moral, fair, sensible, and ethical environment?

If you look at the blue states on the election victory chart, you should be able to recognize several of them as laughingstocks for the geographical majority of the country.

I lived in California. I visited New York. I oversaw workers in Massachusetts. I wouldn't want my children raised in any of those environments. The Kerry blue states represent the fringes of our society, and have more to do with the manias of living in heavily populated areas than with high numbers of sentient voters.

True, the younger voters were bent toward the left. But that will change as they gain more education and life experience. The more learning one has, the more likely one is to vote Republican.

Betty Hall
Montgomery, Alabama

Good grief

"The dream has become a nightmare," writes Ridgeway. "The dream of a secular, liberal democracy is lost."

I am not a Christian with an ideology of a theocracy for America. However, I do have values and morals that have nothing to do with religion. I voted for President Bush for one major reason. He is right on the war and many other issues—taxes, education, health care. I am not worried that the Christian right is taking over the country. Your article shows that you do not recognize that the majority of Americans are like me, not tied to liberalism or conservatism. There really is a core to America that keeps your far-left side and the far-right side from taking over. This is Good. By the way, secularism and ultra-liberalism are not the ideal, just as Christianity and neoconservatism are not the ideals. Belief in the wisdom of collective humanity matters; dignity for life and dignity for death matter; loving your fellow man matters; decency toward and respect for every citizen matters.

Next Page »