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The Great Divide

To the Editor:

Note to Miriam (“I’m not a sore loser”) Axel-Lute: Yes you are [“I Do Not Concede,” Looking Up, Nov. 4].

And to Ian Williams who thinks Bush voters didn’t understand what they were voting for: Yes we did [“The Day After,” Opinion, Nov. 4].

Why can’t you left-wing whiners accept that a majority of Americans voted for Bush not because they were miscounted, or misled, misinformed, hornswoggled, ignorant or crazy, but rather because they simply don’t agree with your view of the world and of what’s best for America? And that such disagreements are legitimate? You lefties demand respect for your “dissent” but have no respect for anyone’s dissent from your views. You insist on being heard, but you never want to listen.

My vote was really cast less in favor of Bush than it was against the hysterical venom of the Bush haters. And the election hasn’t stopped it. The Times Union quotes one writer now calling Bush an “evil dictator.” Your Ian Williams says the Republican party “in some localities is the direct descendant of . . . the Klan” (actually more true of the Democratic party in the South), and suggests the blue states should consider seceding and joining Canada. A prominent local public radio commentator on Nov. 3 said America under Bush is becoming like Nazi Germany. And these are the people calling Bush extremist and divisive!

I actually fault Bush for often acting like he’s leader of only half the country. He hasn’t had much to say to his opponents. But if you want to see the real source of today’s venomous divisiveness, look in the mirror.

I didn’t agree with Kerry voters but I can understand their choice and I believe their votes were motivated by sincere ideals. But for those on the left, it’s never enough just to disagree, you demonize the other side, impugning their motives, accuse them of voting out of ignorance, bigotry, or meanness, or religious fanaticism, or to serve the interests of corporations or the rich. You never acknowledge that they might have sincere ideals too.

Hello: I am not a bigot or corporate toady or religious zealot (I’m an atheist). Nor am I ignorant or misled. I voted for Bush because I believe that choice is better for all Americans, rich and poor, black and white. And indeed, better for human values throughout the world. If you don’t agree, that’s your right. This is a free country—even under President Bush.

Frank S. Robinson

Albany

To the Editor:

I realize that you do not employ Mr. Williams at Metroland; however, I assume that your decision to publish his piece means you at least sympathize with his views. That being said, I find his comment that all states who voted for Bush should be left “to the creationist faith they deserve” offensive and simplistic. First, not everyone who lives in these states supported Bush (shocking thought!). Many of the persons residing in these “irrational” states, including my parents who live in suburban Cleveland, did not vote for President Bush, nor are they the fundamentalist Christians that Mr. Williams supposes makes up the whole of the populations of these unenlightened places.

Mr. Williams’ article displays the arrogance and divisiveness he assumes only exists in people who hold beliefs he does not agree with and therefore equates with barbarism. Is it any wonder that people who are not “fortunate” enough to reside in his version of the chosen land deeply resent and will not vote for candidates who treat them as simplistic idiots, or for candidates who have the support of people like Mr. Williams?

I understand that Mr. Williams is disappointed in the outcome of the election. Maybe he needs to examine his own attitudes and prejudices as part of the cause Mr. Kerry’s defeat—a candidate who may have been identified, at least in part with the views and attitudes expressed in this venomous piece.

Carrie Smith

Albany

To The Editor:

I read Ian Williams’ opinion piece and have believed for some time that we Northeasterners should seriously consider secession from red state Amerika.

This region has enough natural resources to thrive independently. And we saw where Manifest Destiny got us. Keep it small and governable.

This would make Red Amerika truly fly-swatting-over country. Dubya could then escalate the crusades to his and Tricky Dicky Cheney’s heart’s content.

Most people know, even those with Red Amerika educations, we northerners comprised most of the original 13 colonies. During the Revolution, the Hudson River was Middle America. Since its inception, the United States had its roots planted in rapidly shifting soil. Condi Rice called slavery “a birth defect.” Or was it a mushroom cloud?

There is still a battle outside raging between ultra-liberal Massachusetts and arch-conservative (read: slave state) South Carolina. Does anyone believe that after 200 years, and a civil war to boot, there has been much progress (excluding the removal of “colored” toilets from red states that actually had indoor plumbing) in uniting these radically uncompromising viewpoints? The only integration Trent Lott’s mentor Strom Thurmond believed in was practiced in his bedroom. Hell, Arizona recently celebrated its 75th birthday. How could the upstart Grand Canyon state supersede the wishes and seniority of the Northeast in deciding where this nation is headed? Except for the consolidation of vast power by the very few, these areas have no common bond.

Let us face the facts. We liberal elite nabobs of negativism will never convince bible-thumping zealots that religion has absolutely no place in formulating public policy. This convenient marriage (another topic we can’t agree on) of states is fraught with peril and irreconcilable differences. The time has come to revisit and modify two centuries-old philosophies with a vastly more modern approach, divorced from closed-minded, drenched-in- superstition beliefs.

Red Amerika can keep Old Glory, minus of course a few stars. We’re creative enough to come up with a new one; perhaps revitalize the Rainbow Coalition ensign? The gay-lesbian- transgender community uses this symbol, but since marriage (“Any close or intimate union”; Webster’s definition) will be legal for all, perhaps it could be adopted as a national emblem.

So, are we there yet? Any area north of the Mason-Dixon Line (the District Of Columbia can join us with full representation) will be welcome to join a more perfect union. No longer will there be a need for states, with their top-heavy, overlapping uncoordinated bureaucracies (The butcher, baker and candlestick maker—Pataki, Bruno, and Silver—will be jettisoned). Sadly, the city that works, Chicago, will be bogged down in a Red Sea awash in backward thought, but I’m confident Daleyland will come up with a unique brand of governing. (A positive note: the dead will no longer have to vote and can rest in peace).

Red Amerika will then be unburdened by us whining, Brie-eating, full-sentence-making liberals. They can go on a eternal crusade, fighting preemptive wars until there is no more blood left to be shed; they can dig for oil till the land resembles gophers on acid; they can breed huge families and homeschool ’em; they can ban abortion and gay marriage, and abolish all welfare programs, unemployment benefits, entitlements, social security, environmental laws, restraints on corporations, evolution being taught in school, end all bans on weapons of any kind, and of course enact an immigration law so strict most nonwhites wouldn’t stand a prayer’s chance of getting in (unless it was ordained by President Pat Robertson).

We would retain all that is banned in Red Amerika, plus institute an Eliot Spitzer-regulated Wall Street, establish a new manufacturing base with strong union representation, support a mandatory livable wage, invest in educational excellence and institute universal health care. We’ll have autumns in New England, libraries with no banned books, museums, the arts, and the Ivy League (red state citizens could apply for foreign student visas) where athletics is secondary and played for the sheer enjoyment of sport.

Red Amerika? They would have NASCAR.

The times they are a-changing. John Kerry asked if we are ready for that change. As the first president of this new nation, we the people would allow him the opportunity to set us on that new course.

Dennis Dzamba Albany

Since You Asked

To the Editor:

I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation for the service provided by the Metroland. I am a weekly reader. I feel the opportunity for alternative viewpoints to enter the marketplace of ideas is invaluable. So, thank you.

The impetus for this correspondence is my desire to answer the questions, as much as I am able, posed in a recent edition of this periodical [“The Wreck Next Door,” Oct. 14]. I am an attorney for the city of Albany and I represent both the Division of Buildings and Codes and the Board of Zoning Appeals. I live four avenue blocks from City Hall and seven street blocks from 130 Dove St. (approximately 30 yards west of Dove Street). So the first answer is that I am a resident of the city and coincidentally in same neighborhood as 130 Dove St. I pass 130 Dove St. at least once a week on my walk to the market.

The second answer is in reference to neighborhood association membership. It is my belief that membership in a neighborhood association would be imprudent considering my position with the city of Albany. Often, neighborhood associations appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals and in the Division of Buildings and Codes. On several occasions, the city has been sued on zoning and building issues by neighborhood associations. While these associations provide a helpful service, both to their neighborhood and to the city at large, I think it best to not be on both sides of an application or lawsuit.

Terrence A. Gorman

Albany

 

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: metroland@metroland.net. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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