Re "Dear Ted: Honk if You Get a Platform," column, July 9
Once again I feel Steve Lopez was reading my mind when he wrote his column regarding the fundraising letter from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). I too received Kennedy's letter and bumper sticker. Although I am a lifelong Democrat, I just could not muster the fortitude of Lopez and only read to Page 2 before I had to toss the letter. Mine, at least, was tossed into the recycle bin -- so hopefully it will have some usefulness. Wake up, Democrats!
Lopez's inclusion of former Republican presidential speechwriter Craig Smith's summary of the primary difference between Republicans and Democrats was a good example of why the country is so polarized. It is not a matter of having to choose between individual liberty and equality. One does not, and should not, exclude the other. Our founders said we should have liberty and justice for all -- and getting to that ideal is what our internal dialogues should be about.
Lopez highlights a good point: If the Democrats told the American people what their positions are on the issues, nobody would vote for them. Income redistribution, fighting terrorism through the courts rather than on the battlefield and partial-birth abortion are hardly winning issues with the voters. Instead, the Democrats resort to demonizing their opponents and dividing people by race and income.
The Democrats don't need any unified plan beyond bumper stickers that say, "Had enough? Vote Democratic." The Republicans have plenty of plans, all of them dangerous or ineffective. Just relieving this country of failed programs and government conniving will automatically improve things immensely.
Re "Wake up, Democrats: Ideas matter," Opinion, July 10
Alas, authors Kenneth S. Baer and Andrei Cherny offer no ideas themselves, so let me: Keep Social Security as is; ditto public education; tax the rich; fund the poor; nationalize healthcare; impeach President Bush; appoint only expansionist, pro-Roe judges; always act through the U.N. Sound familiar? Ideas only matter if they can generate a governing majority. So far, these don't.