Political paralysis the new normal
Ramesh Ponnurus wonderful piece (Its not you, its your type I hate, Aug 29) gets it exactly right.
America has chosen up sides, and we convince ourselves of the goodness of our people, policies, ideas and actions while we denigrate and demonize the other side. Forty-six percent of us will vote for President Obama regardless. And 46 percent of us will vote for Mitt Romney regardless. Clinical studies show once we have formed strong opinions, our brains are hard-wired to look for evidence to support our beliefs and to ignore or explain away any evidence to the contrary. The brains mechanisms for complex analysis do not even bother to turn on.
This phenomenon is not new. As a child I noticed that when my father and my uncles sat on the porch to talk politics, there was never any dissent. They simply reinforced the rightness of their commonly held beliefs. Only now it isnt just uncles, but a 24-hour news cycle, nonstop talk radio and specialized TV stations that cater to our side – Fox News or MSNBC, take your pick. Compromise has become a dirty word.
The current condition ensures that less and less will be done to solve Americas significant problems. Until we stop demonizing people with different ideas and change our attitudes about working across the isle, we condemn ourselves to live from one crisis to the next, unable to agree to fix anything.
GARY COPELAND Fort Wayne
Newspaper’s coverage bias blatant
Over time Ive become more and more dismayed with The Journal Gazettes thinly veiled partisanship against the conservative voice in America.
When the newspaper reports the nations political news, the number of the Washington Post liberal bylines is overwhelming, not just on the opinion page but throughout. Its painfully obvious what The Journal Gazettes opinion is. Every innuendo, implication, every heading and subheading reeks of partisan opinion. The newspapers subtle (and not so subtle) attempt to dictate the readers opinion is blatant and insulting, and Im sick of it. The Journal Gazette is contributing to the vast gap between the parties. The newspaper doesnt just report the news, it attempts to form our opinions for us, and I find that reprehensible.
As we approach this years election, The Journal Gazette has an obligation to help pull America together, toward the middle ground, rather than giving us opinions through print.
As Joe Friday so famously used to say, Just the facts – please!
SCOTT HABBEN Leo-Cedarville
Obama fixing GOP’s messes
A theme of the Republican convention was that we can make things better. I dont think so.
Do you remember when George W. Bush and a Republican Congress took charge? They inherited a budget surplus. In eight years they squandered all of this by getting us into two highly questionable wars as well as a bungled Katrina disaster. We became a deeply indebted nation, and President Bush and his administration brought us to the brink of a chasm that led to a bad recession.
This is what President Obama inherited, and he has been criticized because he didnt straighten all of this out in three years, even though he brought us back from the brink of that disaster.
He saved the auto industry from collapse, preventing the loss of many jobs (Mitt Romney felt doing so was the absolute wrong thing to do.) President Obama has reined in huge bonuses for CEOs and is working at regulating corporations from their excesses, such as the oil companies who claim higher profits than ever. Lets see – is this trickle-down economy?
Rep. Eric Cantor said the Republicans tried and were willing to cooperate with the president. We heard from the leaders of the Republican Party at the very beginning that they were going to make Obama a one-term president. Does that sound like being open to listen and to cooperate?
I, for one, hope and pray we Americans think clearly, remember well and do not repeat history.
DOROTHA FRY MASON North Manchester
Guaranteeing Lindh his ‘rights’
On Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 The Journal Gazette published articles by Charles Wilson about John Walker Lindh, an American-born Taliban fighter captured in Afghanistan.
Lindh, a prisoner of war or whatever you would like to call him, states that his rights are being violated as to the manner in which he prays. The unit that houses Lindh, per Wilsons article, allows him to conduct his prayers but, according to Lindh and the ACLU, not enough space in which to do so.
I am willing to contribute to a fund for Lindh, and the ACLU, for one-way transportation back to the Mideast where he and they can resolve his rights.
ROBERT HOLLAND Wolcottville