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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Certainly, Obama's and Clinton's campaign success can be looked on as a milestone. Now we can really say anyone can become President. Also, in future elections, they will beomce ordinary people, and we can look at them and judge them based on their individual merits and not sterotypes. I would also add that their success or failure in office is not a matter of race or gender but reflects individual ability.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Jun 19 2008 - 1:28pm

Web Letter

From Nixon to Clinton, we were under the delusion that we could take on globalization without any consequences to our domestic well-being and security. September 11 suddenly showed us that the new paradigm was flawed. If we let China and sovereign funds buy up the country, they aren't going to like us any better. They just don't like us, because we are still arrogant, with a penchant toward plutocracy. We still have not learned what Europe knows. When you sell the farm to build houses, you no longer have income or crops. When you industrialize other countries with your industries, you no longer have the income from those industries to subsidize your service sector. You cannot replace an industrial job with a service one, since one industrial job supports ten service jobs. Global trade is a big myth. Global trade does not raise all boats, rather only a few. When you drain a freshwater lake to fill a swamp, you end up with two swamps.

James Pinette

Caribou, ME

Jun 17 2008 - 11:33pm

Web Letter

As someone from the "materialist" camp I must take exception to a few of Gary Younge's ideas. He makes distinctions between the way things look, the way they are and the way they might be, the latter the stuff of "dreamers" reminiscent of Kennedy's remark ("Some see things as they are.....). But I suggest to you that the best way to get to the things that might be, the stuff of dreams, is to first see things as they are and refuse to engage in wishful thinking. I suggest that Obama supporters are more in denial than they are in reverie.

I have been around long enough to have seen what happens when we settle for "hope." If things were much better, perhaps we could waste another four years on a centrist Dem for the sake of the symbol, but we can't afford to waste any more time "hoping" for change. Obama's proposals, as well as Clinton's, and certainly McCain's, will do nothing more than put Band-Aids on the exsanguinating wounds of our healthcare system, stick chewing gum in the gushing breaches of our job market and actually add fuel to the conflagrations in Iraq and the Middle East--and that's being optimistic.

And yet, though I count myself a dreamer, I actually want things to be better, much better, and for that to happen one needs more than a dream, one needs a vision. That is why I will not settle for ten- or twenty- or thirty-foot bridges for 90-foot chasms--the last is three times longer than the first but at the end you still fall into the pit. My vote is very important to me, I will not give it away on a wing and a prayer.

Do "materialists" have an "alternative project that could engage progressives"? You bet your sweet bippy we do. The irony is that the reason we can't get traction for our much more progressive agenda and candidate is that Obama's party does all that it can to see that we are dismissed--as "dreamers."

S. Hammond

North Syracuse, NY

Jun 12 2008 - 9:09pm