Have the Big Media Chosen Sides?
After viewing both party conventions and closely following the primaries, I find myself in a state of wonder. I would like to share my wonderment.
Why is Dan Quayle's call for a return to family values labeled divisive, while the "Cop Killer" album is defended as free speech?
Why is the desecration of the Eucharist at St. Patrick's in New York treated as an act of political discourse, while Pat Buchanan's disagreement with legitimizing homosexuality is denounced as mean-spirited?
Why is it compassionate of Democrats to allow victims of AIDS to blame Ronald Reagan and George Bush for their disease, while it is deemed racist for Republicans to speak out on behalf of victims of crime?
Why is it unconstitutional to display religious symbols in public places, while vile and degrading acts against Christian symbols are defended as free expression?
Why is it called a "wedge" issue when Republicans speak out against quotas, while it is called populism if Democrats attack the rich?
Why is scrutiny of Hillary Clinton's public positions off base, while the abortion positions of Barbara Bush and Marilyn Quayle are lead stories?
I also wonder, is there a cultural elite and is there a struggle under way to redefine the basic moral and constitutional tenets upon which this nation was founded? If there is, have the big media chosen sides?
Joseph N. Brown
I am an Army veteran who volunteered for, and served in, Vietnam. I support Gov. Bill Clinton whole-heartedly and am appalled by the attacks on his character, particularly as they relate to the conflict in Vietnam.
This letter is in response to the editorial, "Who for Commander-in-Chief?" (Aug. 27).
You refer to Governor Clinton's "many ploys to dodge the draft" in discussing his recent address to the American Legion.
Mr. Clinton did not dodge the draft but gave up his deferment, submitted to the lottery and drew the number 311.
He did not run away to Canada or fake a physical infirmity. He did not join the reserves or National Guard, as Vice President Dan Quayle did.
This country was deeply divided over the Vietnam war. Mr. Clinton was torn between the duty to serve his country and his duty to his conscience, believing that the war was immoral and unjust. After long and anguishing soul-searching, he chose duty to country and threw in his lot with the rest of us.
The military might of this country must not be brought to bear lightly or on impulse. Mr. Clinton has shown that his would not be a knee-jerk reaction. He would consider the situation fully and carefully before placing the lives of American soldiers at risk.
To characterize Mr. Clinton's actions as "draft dodging" impugns the integrity of any draft-age male who did not serve, as well as many who did, but reluctantly.
James M. Stone
Who's in Charge?
At the risk of admitting to political naivete, I wish to ask one question that applies to every election, but I will phrase it in terms of the present campaigning by George Bush and Bill Clinton.
The president is the head of the federal executive branch, and Mr. Clinton is the head of the Arkansas executive branch. Who is in charge of those two executive branches while these two men are traveling around the country campaigning?
Mr. Bush was elected to run the executive branch for four years. Is he, or can he, do that adequately for the several months he is so actively campaigning? The same question for Mr. Clinton.
The position of president would seem to be a full-time one. How can it be while the president is spending almost all his time campaigning? Who is minding the store?
When are we going to have mandatory sentencing for drunken driving convictions?
A man whose drunken driving convictions dated from 1974 and includes an auto manslaughter conviction in 1981 (for which he served 89 days in jail) has been sentenced to 90 days and fined $680 for his latest drunken driving offense.
It has been said that the "certainty of punishment" is a major deterrent to criminal behavior. One wonders if judges who routinely impose lenient sentences and fines against repeat offenders convicted of drunken driving could be the weakest link in the struggle to protect the public from drunken drivers.
Think about it.
Virginia W. Hoefner
National Flood Insurance Program Works
I must take issue with the editorial Aug. 25 which strongly supports the bill currently in the Senate to severely revise provisions of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Certainly your reliance on statements of a pressure group such as the Coastal Alliance and of "experts" in a field, which in no way is considered an exact science, is to be questioned.
Take, for example, the prediction of 1992's beginning a cycle of more frequent and more destructive hurricanes.