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Letters to the editor

January 16, 2005

What did we get for 'values' vote?


To the editor:

The election is over, and by now it is common knowledge that the president was re-elected by those who consider moral values a top priority. But before we slip into our semiplacid slumber between elections, let's take a look at what we received for our "moral values" vote.

Our president openly states that he is a Christian, and of this we have no doubt. But his actions, or inaction, tend to make this a moot point. In his proclaimed dual role, he is not only held accountable to God, but to the American people as well. It is, after all, possible to be a Christian and a leader and not a Christian leader.

There has never been an apology or acceptance of responsibility, (as with Tony Blair) for the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This was the administration's main reason for going to war. Later, stating that Saddam Hussein was a "bad person" and citing tenuous ties to al-Qaida still does not justify the war. He says we cannot win the war on terror one day, then says we can win it the next, while attacking his campaign opponent as a flip-flopper. To use the words of Jesus, "Do not look for the splinter in the eye of another when you cannot see the log in your own." Repeatedly during the campaign he called out mockingly to his opponent, "You can run but you can't hide." Well, John Kerry was never trying to hide - it's Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi we're looking for. And he still claims he has made no mistakes, but now there is heavy fighting in Fallujah and Mosul despite a "mission accomplished" speech well over a year ago.

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Accountability is a moral value.

What type of person cannot only use profanity in the Capitol building without fear of fine or reprimand, but can direct it at someone in a rude and vulgar manner? Our vice president.

There was no apology - in fact he said he felt better for doing it. What type of person can sit in front of a crowd of people and calmly state that if John Kerry is elected president there will be a greater likelihood of a nuclear attack on one of our cities - and then claim the other side is using scare tactics? One without conscience, our vice president.

Having a conscience is a moral value.

What of Karl Rove, the campaign guru and presidential adviser who took this morally conscious administration into a second term? Karl Rove, the man who twists and turns people's words and facts into half-truths and spits them out as gospel. What if we practiced this against each other in our churches? Now some people may say that this is a part of politics, but if so, then why are we relating politics with moral values?

Truth is a moral value.

Now maybe I'm learning from the wrong book. Did Jesus gather his disciples and say that they could do whatever they wanted and it would be OK as long as he kept his moral values?

No. By ignoring the actions of his "disciples" and not holding himself accountable the president is tainting the very ideals he claims to uphold. This is akin to proudly displaying the Ten Commandments, but only following seven.

Despite how comforting it is to see the country turn toward Christian ideals, we must be wary of zealots who use these ideals for their own purposes and not God's. Two days after the election a group of "Christian" leaders sent a list of expectations (demands?) to the president because they had helped him get re-elected. Whatever happened to doing things for others without payment or reward? If this is a new trend, it's a good thing Mother Teresa passed away before we got the bill.

Now there may be those who consider this letter irrelevant given that the election is over. To do so, however, is to turn a blind eye to the facts and deny that their votes for moral values may not have had moral results. We may have gained a few things, but we have lost much more in the process.

If it was the president's intention to teach us that we must have moral values or do whatever it takes to get them, well then, Mr. President mission accomplished.

Andy Macomber
Boonsboro




Insurers are the problem


To the editor:

The Herald-Mail wants Gov. Robert Ehrlich to identify funds to start malpractice reforms. There have been many demands made in Maryland for a lower cap on pain and suffering awards with the intention of assuring the reduction of medical malpractice insurance rates.

Doctors and other tort reformers should do their homework before buying into this myth that has served insurance companies so well. What happened in three states where tort reformers were duped by insurance companies debunks tort-reform advocates' justification for caps.

Texans amended their state constitution to place a cap on medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering. GE Medical Protective, the nation's largest provider of medical malpractice insurance, has admitted in a filing that a $250,000 cap on damage awards for victims of malpractice will not lower physicians' premiums.

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