Candidates get dumber and dumber

To the editor:

In recent years, it has seemed that the caliber of our elected officials has been going downhill, but this year really sets a new low. The dumbing down of America has sunk to a new level.

Maybe Republican Sen. John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for vice president has gotten us to the point where we are looking for cute and folksy instead of smart and qualified. I don’t want just a hockey mom to be V.P. I want someone smarter, more qualified and more knowledgeable about the issues than I am.

Locally, I can only point to your article regarding the Clark County School Board race in District A between Edward Goldman and Deanna Wright. Ms. Wright demonstrated poor writing skills that you so correctly noted, not knowing proper words and spellings, and certainly not proper grammar. Her excuse was she didn’t know people would look at it — they should see the message through it.

In response to criticism, Ms. Wright called Mr. Goldman a "bookworm." Horrors! What a terrible thing to call someone running for a School Board position! Next, it’ll be, "Don’t vote for someone who is educated and experienced!" What?

Come on, voters. Let’s not vote for personalities, but for qualifications. Please, let’s hope that people of substance and knowledge will want to run for office. No more dumbing down, but lifting up is what America and Las Vegas need right now.

J. Broeker



Beyond Obama, McCain

To the editor:

The essay by high school student Mery Nikolova, in the Oct. 26 Viewpoints section of the Review-Journal, though well-written and showing definite inclusive thought (as would be expected from her "A’s" in communication classes), unfortunately shows a large gap in her understanding of what the electoral process is about. She states that she is not voting because the two people who are running do not meet her expectations.

That opinion granted, her statement implies, incorrectly, that there are "two people" who are candidates for public office. A quick perusal of your sample ballot will show that there are about 80 names on the ballot (six for president alone) for numerous very important positions.

This obviously very bright, certainly college-bound young lady should know that the members of the Board of Regents of her chosen Nevada public college will have a greater bearing on her future than the president of the United States. The education of our grade- and high-school students will be more influenced by the elected School Board trustees than by anyone named Bush, Reagan or Clinton. These candidates need and deserve your knowledgeable and informed vote.

Many candidates are vying for positions as judges in our court system, and though I hope that neither Ms. Nikolova nor her classmates ever find themselves in an adverse position before a court, these judges are a fundamental and basic pillar of our system of government, and knowing their qualifications, and voting properly, can have a profound impact on many areas of our lives.

Likewise, our elected county commissioners and City Council members. So, to our young, emerging adult electorate, please inform yourselves of these important offices. Please, if you don’t like the presidential candidates, skip this one, and exercise your newly acquired (per Ms. Nikolova) opportunity to vote for those you think are "good," and not the "lesser of two evils."



Cold War lesson

To the editor:

To those planning to vote for Barack Obama for president and his plan to "spread the wealth," remember why the United States won the Cold War.

The Soviet Union had almost every natural advantage, a higher population, far more natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals, more land and closer proximity to Europe. We had one advantage that was decisive: our free-market economic system.

The principal of redistribution of wealth, the foundation of the Soviet Union’s communist system, doomed them. We won the Cold War because the Soviet Union’s economy collapsed.

The Chinese have left it. Europe has pulled back from it. The idea of forced redistribution of wealth has already failed (anyone who has dealt with the IRS knows it will be forced).

Why do we want to adopt it? It will fail here, too.

Robert Spear



Mission accomplished

To the editor:

How can the editorial board of the Review-Journal in good conscience support Sen. John McCain for president? Sen. McCain is a huge proponent of nuclear power. His solution for nuclear waste is to store it in Nevada.

The Review-Journal has consistently and repeatedly opposed the nuclear waste dump being planned for Yucca Mountain. Over the years, I frequently have disagreed with your editorials, but have respected your positions because I thought the editorial board was intellectually honest. I constantly defended the journalistic integrity of your newspaper.

Now I know the truth; my wife was right. The Review-Journal has a right-wing agenda, no different from Fox News, and will write and print whatever it wants to further the cause.

So please stop pretending to be against the dump at Yucca Mountain. You just asked everyone in Nevada to vote for it. And if Sen. McCain wins Tuesday’s election and the dump comes here, accept responsibility.

For the Review-Journal, it will be "mission accomplished."

E.M. Keach



Economic destruction

To the editor:

Almost every economist will testify that increasing financial restraints, such as raising taxes and impediments to wealth creation, should be loosened and/or reduced in any economic downturn.

The economic shakiness of the Herbert Hoover administration was followed by the socialism of FDR’s "New Deal," resulting in a Great Depression that lasted much longer than if normal free-market principles had the chance to work.

Today, in the midst of economic hardships caused by both major political parties, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and the wealth redistributionists in Congress are strongly indicating they have learned nothing from the suffering of that time. The proposed policies of Sen. Obama and the Democrats in Congress will result in destroying wealth.

While the citizens with their hands out will "prosper" temporarily, the wealth generator, the American capitalist system, will be strangled, starved and withered over time.

So, will Sen. Obama redistribute wealth before he begins killing the mechanism which created it? Or, will Sen. Obama destroy American wealth creation before he "spreads the wealth around"?

It is much easier to destroy than to build. This is the result of Sen. Obama’s stated socialist economic policies, in theory and in practice.

M.R. Heeman



Dodging questions

To the editor:

Over the past few weeks I have seen or heard numerous interviews between the media and GOP Sen. John McCain. I have not heard or seen one interview with Sen. Barack Obama since his interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.

Why does Sen. Obama avoid interviews, and why did he spend millions of dollars to give a taped presentation, on the major networks, with no chance for questions from anyone?

Is he concerned he will be asked a question he is not comfortable with? Is this a preview of how he will interact with the media if elected president?

There are too many unanswered questions surrounding this candidate for him to avoid interviews and questions. The public has the right to hear his answers before the election.

Jim Horsley



Buying votes

To the editor:

It has always been my understanding that it is illegal for a candidate to pay someone to vote for them. Assuming that is still true, I have to ask how promising to reduce someone’s income tax when they pay none is not buying votes.

Sen. Barack Obama is promising an income tax reduction for 95 percent of income tax filers. Since roughly 40 percent of all income tax returns have no income tax liability, and some filers under the earned income tax credit actually get a check from the government, the only way for them to have their taxes reduced is to expand the number of people who pay no income tax at all and write more checks under the earned income tax credit.

Promising to give someone money as part of a political campaign doesn’t seem particularly different than standing outside a polling place and handing out $20 bills. The only difference I can detect is that Sen. Obama is asking people to wait a little while before they collect.

Now, some might argue that any promise of tax relief is the same thing — "Vote for me and your taxes will go down."

But there is one huge difference with that approach over what Sen. Obama is promising. True tax relief lets you keep more of your own money, while Sen. Obama is promising millions of people that he will give them someone else’s money.

If that isn’t buying votes, I don’t know what is.

Terry Ostlund



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