Letters to the editor

Published November 22, 2004

Democrats don’t follow Christian values

To the Daily:

Jeff Cravens wrote in a letter (Democratic Party is the moral party in America, 11/18/2004) that the Democratic Party is the true moral party in America and attempted in vain to portray Jesus as a liberal. Saying that Jesus “gave free health care to the poor,” as well as urging people to give their money to the poor does not in any way classify Jesus Christ as a liberal. Has Cravens heard of Medicaid? Furthermore, generosity, as Ronald Reagan said, is “a reflection of what one does with their money, not what one advocates the government do with his or her money.” To say that Jesus was in favor of entitlements is nothing less than uneducated blasphemy, as he also preached that we should teach the man to fish, not just give him one. Speaking of education, does Cravens know that liberals including U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) helped to shape the No Child Left Behind act, voted for it and then in the campaign limelight bashed it again and again? Is opportunistic dishonesty a moral, Christian value?

Furthermore, Cravens has continued the ongoing ignorance of liberals everywhere in his skewed description of tax policy. A primer in that field would teach him that everyone got tax cuts, and it only makes sense that those paying more taxes would get more back. That’s only fair. Additionally, Cravens can quote as much Scripture as he wants, but it doesn’t prove his point when the Scripture is misused. One of the Ten Commandments says “Thou shall not kill,” but I see the Democratic Party constantly push for the murder of unborn children in the name of “choice.” Even in the case of partial-birth abortion, in which an educated person would tell you that the child is half-delivered, a needle is jabbed into his head and his brain is sucked out. Is this Christian? It’s also a known fact that liberals in the Democratic Party have relentlessly pushed for the elimination of “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. That’s a fantastic way to win Christians back to the Democratic Party.

The 2004 election proved one thing if nothing else: When pressed with two opposite viewpoints, the American people chose the party of moral values to lead them in, effectively, all three branches of government. For that, I am truly grateful.

Kyle Burleson

LSA senior


In defense of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality

To the Daily:

I usually try to address my ideological opponents in a respectful and civilized manner, so after reading Matthew Wolfe’s letter (Reader ‘totally misses’ the legitimate issues concerning Arafat’s legacy, 11/17/2004), I could not help but to feel appalled and insulted. Wolfe’s claims that members of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality support terrorism are totally baseless and lack integrity. He substantiates his claims by employing the use of selective quotations and drawing dubious conclusions that were never in anyway articulated by Tarek Dika in his letter (Unified Palestinian Leadership critical to Mideast peace, 11/15/2004). Wolfe’s later claims, that members of SAFE have “something significantly wrong” with them border on the lines of libel and renders uncertainty on whether polite campus debate is possible when one side composes their discourse with such disrespect.

As for Yassir Arafat, while I have problems with many of his ill-conceived decisions, blaming him for the outbreak of the present Al-Aqsa Intifada would be historically incorrect. This Intifada began weeks after Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s alleged “generous offer” (which would still have placed sovereignty over the West Bank and Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem in the hands of the Israelis). The Intifada started the day after Ariel Sharon and his crew of police guards entered the grounds of the Haram al-Sharif and violated the third holiest site in Islam, hence the name the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Resisting unwanted military occupation is a natural human desire; no one wants to see his life and his land controlled by foreigners. Palestinians have the same right to resist Israeli occupation now as the French did German occupation and the Algerians did French occupation. SAFE has never on any occasion, whether at an event or in the Daily, advocated for attacks on Israeli civilians or terrorism of any kind.

Mohammed Elghoul

LSA senior

The letter writer is the vice chair of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality.


A ‘closer look’ at election results still necessary

To the Daily:

Joel Hoard’s column (A call to surrender, 11/18/2004) makes several very valid points that anyone left of evangelical fundamentalism should take to heart when deciding what to do now. He rightly criticizes the “whining” of the past four years, advocating an honest evaluation of the current state of affairs in the country. The outcome on Nov. 2 proved that many of us need to rethink our perception of the “American people” and how to effectively communicate liberal and progressive ideals. However, to move forward without properly acknowledging the injustices of the recent past would not only be wrong, it would limit our ability to truly understand the nature of the problems we face.

As an Election Protection coordinator in Detroit, I saw and heard things that defied any of my expectations. Republican “challengers” were not simply a nuisance, nor were they serving to strengthen the system, as they claimed. Challengers in Detroit, paid $10 an hour, were told to challenge any and every voter that could possibly be convinced not to vote. This they did with malicious vigilance. In some polling places, they physically removed voters; in others, they took advantage of Spanish-speaking voters, convincing them they must speak English to vote and in perhaps the most deplorable example, challengers donned official Election Protection shirts and stood outside a polling location saying it was closed.

All of the above are unquestionable violations of state and federal law and reveal an acutely flawed system. As for Ohio, the Libertarian and Green parties have joined forces in asking for a recount, showing that the Ohio outcry is not simply partisan denial. With as many as 250,000 provisional and discarded ballots in question in a state where Bush won by little over 130,000 votes, I think a closer look is worth it. I need not say that those ballots come from precincts that overwhelmingly supported John Kerry.

International monitors have said that this election fell farther below standards for fairness than the notorious 2000 vote. In addition to disenfranchisement, failure of electronic voting and computerized ballot tabulation machines has been widespread. As a country that parades its vision of “democracy” abroad, it is somewhat embarrassing that we cannot even live up to the very basic standards of that concept at home. It is our duty to make sure the results are beyond doubt, and it is the duty of publications such as the Daily to champion the cause of voter inclusion and fair elections. If we do not hold accountable those responsible for electoral violations, we have no reasonable expectation of fairness in the future, and we will continue to live in a democracy in which 59 percent involvement is considered “outstanding.”

Matt Hollerbach

LSA senior

The letter writer is a member of the Michigan Student Assembly.