Kill Your TV

To the Editor:
   As much as the Republican Party likes to be in control of government, it can’t be said that  they ever govern well.  The Bush Administration will be noted in history as having been massively incompetent.  Its eight years of dismal governmental diligence resulted in 911, the Enron fiasco, two long and expensive wars, the financial collapse of 2007, and a massive federal deficit
    Ronald Reagan came across as everyone’s, feel-good-about-America uncle, but his eight years were marked by indictments of Cabinet officials, the Silverado Savings and Loan scandal, defense budget boondoggles, and an unprecedented, non-wartime, federal deficit.  His military forays were invasions of Grenada and Panama, but when the going got rough in Beirut, he immediately bailed out.
    And before Bush and Reagan, there was Richard NIxon.  Enough said about Republican governance.
    What the Republican Party does do extremely well, probably from its long association with business, is market itself.  And advertising does work on the American public.  Companies spend millions on market research, focus groups, and carefully crafted ads to keep their products on constant display in people’s minds.  With the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision promoting unlimited campaign spending, we can be certain that in the next five months we will be inundated with a virtual monsoon of political advertising, most of which will be either inflammatory, misleading, or downright prevarication. The best political decision Americans can make right now is to simply unplug the television, find a good book or two, read up on media consolidation (that’s where the money is going), and talk to friends and neighbors.  It’s time to return to reality.
RP
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A Time of Assassins

To the Editor:
Despite all the cheering over the killing of Osama Bin Laden, I felt a deep sadness not only that assassination has become so widely accepted as an American military and diplomatic tool, but also that, as a nation, we have again chosen to move forward in history by killing people.  If Bin Laden were indeed unarmed, do we attribute his death to a Presidential directive or to a soldier acting individually in a tense moment?  Will his death have any lasting effect on our “War on Terror”, a war that more and more seems to have no ending point?  Warfare is deeply entrenched in America’s history, but it should be noted that being in a permanent state of war is precisely what brought down Athens, the city-state generally regarded as the foundation of  democracy and of Western civilization itself.  It is a shame that Martin Luther King’s legacy of non-violent action is now so cavalierly termed “childishly naive”.
RP