Columnist makes unfair attacks on the political values of the
Right

To the Daily:

I hesitate to call Sowmya Krishnamurthy’s most recent
column An Open Letter to America (11/05/04) a waste of
space, as I feel this would dignify her commentary far too much.
The sheer arrogance of her column, the assumption that a majority
of the population didn’t make an informed decision, but
rather sunk into a collective stupor, reflects why Democrats
continually fail to connect with the vast swaths of the electorate
they need to win.

What does Krishnamurthy do to insult voters who supported
President Bush? Blame him for leading the nation into the war with
Iraq. Certainly a terrible crime, one that merits a vote for
change, except that John Kerry supported that same war. Oops.

Unable to pin Bush down on the major policy issue of our day,
Krishnamurthy resorts to the least sophisticated tools of political
discourse: personal attacks. Bush is a former alcoholic who has a
DUI and might have tried cocaine. The operative word there is
“might.” Never mind if the crime is alleged and that
all of these errors in judgment occurred 20 years ago or more; they
should still disqualify Bush from the presidency. The only recent
misdeed that Krishnamurthy can cite is that Bush’s daughters
have gotten into some trouble with underage drinking. If
Krishnamurthy truly believes this should delegitimize Bush’s
presidency, her next open letter should be to the undergraduates
here at the University, telling them that their parents lack family
values and are unfit for high office. If anyone lacks values, it is
Krishnamurthy. Her evident frustration with her inability to win a
policy argument causes her to flail about in desperation and hurl
whatever insults she can throw at Bush in the hopes that something
will stick. Krishnamurthy’s argument quickly degenerates into
the ugliest of personal attacks, reflecting poorly on her
argumentative skills and even more poorly on her own morals.

To justify her own complete lack of scruples Krishnamurthy
argues that Bush’s moral positions are hypocritical and that
“morality has no place in politics” because of its
“intrinsic basis of religion.” Let’s handle the
latter assertion first. If morality has no place in politics, what
should guide our leaders’ decisions? Political expediency?
That certainly seemed to be the case of the Democratic nominee, who
during the whole campaign failed to put together a coherent
position on Iraq, but rather shifted whatever way the political
winds were blowing. If Bush goes too far in attempting to impose a
set values system on the whole country, we may justly criticize
him, but the sweeping judgment that morals should not inform
political positions is completely ridiculous. Krishnamurthy’s
attack is based on her own morals. She doesn’t like the
president’s values because they are based on a
Judeo-Christian value system. Sorry, not good enough.

As for the assertion that Bush is a hypocrite who cannot
honestly promote family values, if Krishnamurthy really wants to
drag up 20-year mistakes and alleged misdeeds, she can be my guest.
See how many take her seriously when she shows the journalistic
integrity of a tabloid columnist. I know many good, intelligent,
thoughtful, moral people who supported Bush in his re-election
effort. If they did so because of “moral values,” it
was because they saw him as a man who kept to his word, who
possessed the strength of will to defend Western liberalism against
Islamist fundamentalism, who would not suffer accommodation with a
radical, totalitarian ideology that cannot coexist with our way of
life. Those are values that any decent American can support.
Krishnamurthy’s casual dismissal of this possibility
demonstrates the hubris that has led to two straight Democratic
presidential losses against an opponent that should have been easy
to beat. Rather than confront inconvenient facts or assemble a
thoughtful argument against Bush’s policies, Krishnamurthy
tries to prove her position by insulting Bush’s character,
his intelligence, his morals — there is little Krishnamurthy
won’t tear down through her visceral need to attack Bush. As
long as Democrats continue to disregard the fundamental goodness
and intelligence of the millions of people who live between the
coasts and outside of university towns, they will continue to lose
elections.

To the editors of the Daily, I say that I have no problem with
an anti-Bush writer being supported by University funds. What I do
resent is the use of those funds for a writer with such a complete
lack of intellectual honesty or rhetorical skill. Do your readers a
favor and don’t let junk journalism get past stage one of the
editorial process.

 

Editors note: The Daily is financially independent of the
University, as it is funding by advertising revenue.

Jay Rapaport

LSA junior

 

Gay marriage opponents made reasonable choice

To the Daily:

Bravo to Daniel Adams for standing up for equality over freedom
and against discrimination (The anger of the drowning man
11/08/04)! It’s true that state-sponsored discrimination is
rampant in America.

I look forward to reading Adams’s column in support of a
flat tax. After all, right now the tax code discriminates against
high-income families by forcing them to give more of their money to
the government.

I look forward to his column in support of abolishing the
mortgage interest tax deduction. This clearly discriminates against
renters in favor of homeowners and thus must clearly represent the
nation’s hatred of apartment dwellers.

What? Americans don’t hate apartment dwellers you say?
Perhaps society has simply chosen to recognize the special societal
benefits of high homeownership by giving it special legal
recognition?

On Tuesday, I believe that — Adams’s caricature of
hate-filled Republicans aside — many Americans went to the
polls and decided that there is something uniquely special and
worthy of legal recognition when a man and woman commit to
marriage. I believe that many Americans felt that the only way to
prevent a handful of judges from rewriting the institution of
marriage was by the people acting first to preserve it. Neither of
these motivations is inherently unreasonable. And neither
represents the victory of “hate.”

Rather than denigrate those with differing political views, we
should all learn to listen to them. And we should all, especially
those on the Left, continue to believe in the goodness, and
greatness, of the American people.

Zachary Emig

MBA student

 

Columnist jumps to extreme conclusions

To the Daily:

I’d like to address Daniel Adams’s column (The
anger of the drowning man
11/8/04). Dan, it would take too much
space to address all the ways in which you’ve shown yourself
to be closed minded, so I’m going to boil down my complaint
to you in this way: You refuse to acknowledge that those on the
Right who disagree with you may have legitimate viewpoints worthy
of your respect. In fact, you don’t seem to believe that
intelligent people can reasonably disagree (or maybe you
don’t think there are intelligent conservatives). While I too
wanted President Bush out of the White House, I think it’s
really presumptuous and arrogant of you to assume that those who
disagree with you did so on the grounds of hate, intolerance and to
top it off, sheer stupidity. Instead of respectfully asking people
who disagree with you to re-examine their fundamental assumptions,
your column just pisses them off. You can voice your uppity
city-folk moral superiority in a student newspaper, but it
ain’t helping the liberal cause. To steal what Jon Stewart
said — Dan, it’s not that you’re stupid or your
column is bad, it’s that you’re hurting the liberal
cause. And I’m here to ask you to stop. Stop hurting your own
cause.

Yibo Ling

Engineering senior

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