Don’t Follow the Money
I commend Richmond, California, Green Party Mayor Gayle McLaughlin for her dead-on description of what our two-party system is up to: “One party is moving us into a brick wall at 100 mph. The other is moving us there at 50 mph” [“Q&A,” Dec. 9, 2013]. I stopped voting for Democrats when Bill Clinton hit the scene. It’s time we stopped electing corporate Democrats, thus “losing by winning” over and over. Vote against the money!
Norman Michael Harman
harpers ferry, w.v.
A Nation Memory
Over fifty years ago, my grandfather Hy Janov introduced me to The Nation. When I visited him on weekends, he would invariably ask me to sit by him on the couch so he could read an excerpt from an article. He would then ask what I thought. Wonderful discussions ensued. After he died, my mother told me he had been one of the longest uninterrupted subscribers to the magazine. She was very sad about canceling his subscription.
Two years ago, while my mother lay dying, I found two copies of The Nation on her coffee table. I have kept those copies as a reminder of her presence and what is good and real and loving in life. These memories are so tender and deep for me that I want to thank all the people at The Nation who make this wonderful magazine possible—the magazine that I continue to read in my home and share with my grandchildren.
As a loyal subscriber, I always look forward to reading the painstaking, well-researched and meticulously written letters to the editor. So it is truly baffling to me what would possess the editors to waste invaluable space with out-of-place exercises in disjointed brevity and muddled abbreviation (suddenly appearing on the Letters page in every issue) from somewhere called the “Twitterverse,” a place and reference they apparently believe their readers will applaud as a sign that The Nation is keeping up with the times. It is, in fact, a dubious source that adds precious little to any ongoing discussion except to distract from and mar a feature that has always been such a distinctive and respected part of your publication. My hope is that sometime in the year 2014 you will reconsider this decision and reaffirm your respect for the written word by banishing this abomination and inappropriate eyesore. As we all know too well, there are various electronic havens, places and sites (including your own website) catering to folks who prefer curtness, but there are also hallowed grounds where endorsement and encouragement of such a practice clearly does not belong. I believe the printed pages of The Nation is one such place and certainly should not be yet another location catering to those who welcome every opportunity to nurture their diminishing attention spans and their inability to read or write actual letters.