Letters to the editor
Defending the title, President Bush deflected punches
Editor, The Times:
After watching the final presidential debate Wednesday, I can't believe that there may still be some undecided voters ("Bush and Kerry ridicule records on economy, health," Times page one, Oct. 14). These two men clearly have very different views on how they would govern and what direction they want to see the country go in.
George Bush was vague in his answers in all the debates when asked the most basic questions. The one that stands out most was whom he would appoint to the Supreme Court; he hemmed and hawed and said that he wasn't going to tell.
The other vague answer was about homosexuality and if he thought it was a choice; he replied he didn't know. Bush and the Republican platform have made it very clear about how they feel about gay people. They preach tolerance but want to take away any equal-rights protections for gays.
Finally, the question about the flu vaccine shortage really got to me. Bush blamed it on a company in England but what he didn't say was that the company was an American company that has facilities in England.
After watching the final debate, I have come to the conclusion that Bush will never take any blame for anything that goes wrong during his administration, he will only deflect that blame onto others, he will only continue to divide the country by his rhetoric, and he will only continue to lie about his divisive polices to the American people.
— Kevin Gaspari, Seattle
You guys (at The Times) must be far left, if you think John Kerry won the debate ("Debate III: edge still with Kerry," editorial, Oct. 14). George Bush was honest, to the point, and had a point. Kerry, on the other hand, "respects you." Yeah, right, whatever.
When President Bush spoke of his beliefs, and his family, the words came very easy to him and flowed like water from a river. This is because this man has convictions, commitment and real values. When Bush spoke on each issue in turn, he never wavered and never wandered from the path his answers have always taken.
His attitude strikes me as a man who has "put it out there," good, bad, or indifferent, take-it-or-leave-it style. This style says I'm here to be your president. I'm here to make the hard decisions and it may not get me "most popular boy" award, but I will try my best to keep you safe, to grow our economy and to bring freedom to all mankind.
Kerry, on the other hand, didn't have much to say about his wife, or his convictions. I think they're both too new to him to have formed an opinion about either.
I'm voting for Bush. I'm voting for freedom, I'm voting for values, and I'm voting for a man who understands what I want in a president; a man who makes the hard decisions, a man I can trust to run my country, so I can live my life knowing there is someone looking out for me.
— Marjorie Reed, Marysville
In Wednesday's presidential debate, George Bush referenced John Kerry's "global test" comment in a way that clearly showed deliberate misrepresentation of what Kerry said in the first debate. The only possible explanation for this is that Bush is trying to frighten the American people into believing that the election of Kerry will result in the handing over of American security to the United Nations or other foreign nations.
If Bush had been listening at the first debate, instead of getting his post-debate recap from his adviser, Karl Rove, he would have understood that Kerry wants the United States to be able to sufficiently justify any military action it takes.
In this third debate, Kerry made it absolutely clear that the global standard is a standard of truth, one this president does not pass in Iraq, nor in his rhetoric about the American economy.
— Carine Hutchison, Seattle
Below the belt
John Kerry's gratuitous mentioning of Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter is gay-baiting at its worst.
Senator, have you no shame?
— John Hall, Kirkland
At last I have found something to agree with the Republicans on. Exploiting someone's real or perceived homosexuality for political purposes is just plain wrong. Pointing out an indisputable fact (as Sen. John Kerry did in the third debate), that Vice President Cheney's daughter is a lesbian, is nothing but pandering designed to turn Kerry's right-wing Christian fundamentalist base out to vote for him on Election Day.
At a time when terrorism threatens, the economy lags, and millions of Americans are losing their health care, the senator from Massachusetts (isn't Massachusetts part of France?) has chosen to play on America's homophobia by trying to get the United States Constitution amended to ban gay marriage.
Oh, wait — it's President Bush who's trying to get the U.S. Constitution amended to discriminate against this persecuted minority group.
Well, anyway, this gay person is sick and tired of being used as a political tool. Just remember, people who live in glass houses (and White Houses) shouldn't throw stones.
— Emily Salisbury Keene, Seattle
In the clinch
Wednesday night, George Bush was asked about the shortage of flu vaccine in the U.S. His response was that "we're working with Canada to make sure citizens have got flu vaccinations this upcoming season."
Last week in the second debate, when asked by a citizen about prohibiting the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, Bush's response was that he wants to make sure the drugs coming out of Canada will cure you and not kill you.
U.S. companies will not be asked to produce a low-profit item like a timely, life-saving vaccine; that can then free them up to produce double-time on the inflationary-priced prescription drugs no longer available through Canada.
Well done, George. I think you've locked in the pharmaceutical manufacturers' vote.
— Marian Marszalek, Renton
A staggering claim
We heard again from the president in the final debate that runaway lawsuits are the reason health care and insurance rates are rising. This is inaccurate. An Insurance Journal article dated June 2, 2003, states that this is not the case.
"Tort reform has failed to address the problem of surging medical malpractice premiums, despite the fact that insurers have benefited from a slowdown in the growth of claims," said Martin Weiss, chairman of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "The escalating medical malpractice crisis will not be resolved until the industry and regulators address the other, apparently more powerful, factors driving premiums higher."
The administration and Republicans threaten to limit our ability to be compensated in cases of grievous injury due to the negligence of another.
Limiting tort awards will not reduce insurance rates, and will leave catastrophically injured Americans relying on government services in the resultant gap.
— Roxanne Eberle, Tukwila
Somebody up there like me
When did religion become a campaign issue in the United States? The debates Wednesday spent a third of the time discussing the candidates' religious delusions. Isn't that what we are fighting about with terrorists in Afghanistan and around the world?
Why do Americans think religious fanatics in power, who make decisions based on "fairy tales," are acceptable here?
— Gary Salem, Sequim
Plan to stay home
I promise to vote for the next candidate who says one good thing about their opponent.
— Danny Endlich, Seattle
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