More than one way to see history
After reading a series of politically-charged “letters to the editor,” including at least one with a creative nom de plume, I felt it might be appropriate to share a suggestion.
While passions run high in every election, this one seems to be especially emotionally charged. Perhaps that is because we know change is coming – at the very least, the White House will have a new occupant for the first time in eight years.
It is precisely because of this potential for change that we – voters, Americans – need to make careful choices by becoming informed about candidates and issues, carefully and individually. It is time for insight, not invective.
With the complex challenges facing our nation at home and abroad, I believe it is absolutely critical that we move beyond an agenda that is “red” or “blue,” and focus instead on red, white and blue.
In that spirit, I suggest a visit to one of the trustworthy, non-partisan web sites – www.votesmart.org is one – where candidates have their positions and voting records posted. Also, many organizations offer information on how individual legislators voted on specific key issues. For example, Disabled American Veterans’ information can be found at http://capwiz.com/dav/home/, where you simply enter your zip code and select which of your legislators (senate, house, etc.) you want to know more about. For those of us without voting records, in-depth positions are often posted on various web sites, including our own.
I would strongly urge voters to make a list of the issues that matter most to them, and then research where candidates stand. The results are often surprising. For example, I break with my party on a variety of issues, like the inheritance tax. Also, I come from an all-military family and absolutely believe in strong, well-funded armed forces. Those are just two things you might not know if you only looked at the “D” behind my name. The same might be true of other candidates, whether “R” or “D.”
I had the great privilege of beginning my love of history and politics in Sam Andrew’s class at Oakwood High School. He taught us that there is always more than one way to see history, and that to truly understand it, we needed to research facts and dismiss preconceived notions.
That’s a good lesson for this – and every other – election year, as well.
The reality of GTMO
I am an Oakwood Alum and currently am working at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Reed’s editorial is very spirited and I can tell he feels very strongly about the GTMO issue. While I do not necessarily disagree with his assertion about Habeas Corpus, his “matter of fact” allegation of torture at Guantanamo is way off base. Some press outlets still showed the slideshows of a temporary holding facility for detainees while the new holding facilities were being built. This camp is no longer used and was only used for a short period of time. The detainees are now held in a very comfortable, state of the art facility. These detainees are being fed three meals daily are given exercise time and are treated with respect and dignity. Even though their guards get food, feces and other bodily fluids thrown at them daily, they still treat the detainees with respect. The specter of Abu Ghraib will be with us for a long time, but lessons were learned there and if anything, the detainees are being treatedbetter because of it. When Mr. Reed alleges torture, he is alleging that our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and/or brothers in the U.S. Military and Government service are complicit. People with left-leaning political views consistently say they “support the troops”, but eventually expose their hatred for the military, everyone in it, and everything it stands for.