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The Bee's Choice?



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The Bee’s Choice?

To the Editor:

The Bee’s endorsement of President Bush was interesting. The author of the endorsement took Senator Kerry to task for being vague, distorting the president’s positions, and playing to people’s fears.  Some of this is fair enough, but ordinarily, the scrupulously balanced “Editorial Ink Drops” column would have acknowledged the uncontroversial fact that the president has also been vague, distorted his opponent’s positions, and played to people’s fears.  This is the way modern campaigning works, unfortunately.  What was missing in The Bee’s endorsement was an affirmation of the wisdom and quality of the President’s leadership and policies. Surely an endorsement of an incumbent President would normally have had more to say about that president’s record.

The record of the current administration did receive scrutiny in the dissenting column on the second page, written by The Bee’s regular editorial writer. In the forceful, substantive, and calmly analytic prose characteristic of The Bee’s editorials, Curtiss Clark evaluated the president’s leadership in the context of the traditional values of the Republican Party. Mr Clark pointed out that President Bush’s tax cuts have recklessly increased the size of the federal deficit. The President has involved the nation in a costly and tragic war which could have been avoided if he had only adhered to the principles of prudence and pragmatism that former Republican presidents, like his own father, have upheld. I am unashamed to consider myself a liberal Democrat, but I have a great deal of admiration for the kind of Republican Party that people like Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Dole, and John McCain exemplify. I see this kind of Republicanism in the very impressive Republicans who serve on our Legislative Council or Board of Education here in Newtown. I think it has even been exemplified, in general, by the editorial positions taken by The Bee.

The editorials in The Bee consistently try to balance the desire to use government as a tool for the common good with the need to keep the costs of such projects within the limits of the town’s ability to pay. While insisting on a lean and pragmatic government, The Bee has always insisted on the importance of open discourse; on honest, humble, and clear-sighted evaluation of problems and remedies; on learning from mistakes; on the importance of unity and bipartisan cooperation. Given its well-established priorities and values, it is difficult for me to understand how The Bee could possibly recommend the reelection of the current president.

I am writing this on Monday. With any luck, we will know who has won the election by the time this letter is printed. If Senator Kerry is elected, I hope he will be wiser, more open, and more effective than President Bush. If President Bush has been reelected, I hope that traditional Republicans will join with Democrats and Independents to insist that the president govern in a way that will bring him closer to the principles The Bee has consistently advocated.

Dana Brand

5 Bradley Lane, Sandy Hook                                  November 2, 2004

Comments are open. Be civil.

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