Letters for November 6, 2008

Wasted our influence
Re “Vote Green for the House” (Endorsements, Oct. 30):

You threw away your endorsement by backing Craig Bergland of the Green Party. Your purity is to be lauded. But Bergland is not a real contender.

The reality is that the contest is between Jill Derby and Dean Heller. It is impossible to endorse Heller, a Bushite Republican. Derby, while barely a Democrat let alone a progressive one, is the only realistic choice.

Liberal-leftists, sadly, are usually forced to choose between mediocre and reprehensible candidates.

Jake Highton

Too much influence
Re “Vote Green for the House” (Endorsements, Oct. 30):

“Maybe the two-party system can be taught to offer choices again.”

If party insiders still picked the candidates in smoke-filled rooms, that comment would make sense. But they don’t. The party rank and file pick the candidates from the field presented to them in the primaries. The winners meet in the general election, whether they represent a clear philosophical choice or not.

Third party candidates like Ralph Nader and Craig Bergland seem to think they’re too pure to dirty their hands with the two-party system, but they aren’t above luring the votes of their fellow purists away from the Democratic or Republican standard bearers, effectively electing the candidate with whom they fundamentally disagree.

The object lesson was Ralph Nader draining off enough liberal votes in Florida to put Bush in the White House in 2000, something for which he is still totally unapologetic. Regardless of Nader’s denial of reality, the fact remains that we have him to thank for the last eight years, and the question for Mr. Nader about 2000 is the same question you should be asking now of Craig Bergland: Where were you in the Democratic primary? Why didn’t you put your ideas to the voters on the left side of the political spectrum when it mattered?

If Jill Derby took the nomination effectively unopposed and without the need for compromise with more liberal elements, whose fault is that? Now you expect voters on the left to reelect Dean Heller by throwing their vote away voting for you? I don’t think so.

Craig Bergland’s is not going to be our next congressman. It’s either going to be Jill Derby or Dean Heller, and it has shaped up to be an extremely tight race. The margin of victory either way is going to be very small. If Heller wins, and the Green vote is greater than his winning margin, Mr. Bergland can be justifiably proud of putting one of the most right-wing members of congress over the top for reelection. The Reno News & Review can also take a bow for helping him accomplish that dubious achievement.

Rich Dunn
Carson City

A modest proposal
Re “Presidential race is neck and neck” (Know You’re Right, Oct. 30):

I would like to comment on your humor column, “Know You’re Right.” In the past, I have found that this column has provided me a much needed laugh, but this week it went over the top. I couldn’t stop laughing! Amanda Williams is a brilliant writer with a deft touch and a clever approach. I mean, there might be some people out there who actually believe what she prints is real! This has always been the catch with satire: Some people are too dense to “get it.” But Ms. Williams presses on. Congrats to her! The one that got me the most (after the original joke “The 2008 election is too close to call") was where Ms. Williams said that Sen. Obama has a lot of “arrogance,” over and over again.

After the last eight years of secrecy, lies and demagoguery, calling Sen. Obama “arrogant” was beyond humor. It transcended satire and became a bastion of irony. Doonesbury couldn’t have done better. Her last paragraph was not just funny, but also sobering. Putting the country first on Election Day is what we all have to do, I agree.

Mike Gully

The left picks the right’s columnist
Re “Presidential race is neck and neck” (Know You’re Right, Oct. 30):

Reading over the many reader comments regarding Ms. Williams, I discover that I am not the first to express this opinion, but I miss Lafferty! I rarely, if ever, agreed with anything that blowhard said, but at least I felt I was reading something that had a little research behind it, some historical reference, and maybe even a little basic knowledge. Amanda’s column is like a car wreck on the freeway. I don’t want to look, but I always do, and I feel bad afterwards. It is a nice premise to have competing ideologies on facing pages, but surely someone can be found to carry the far right banner that would be more thought provoking. While every writer needs a first chance, Ms. Williams is in over her head, and would benefit from an apprenticeship under someone with more experience. I expect that the right-leaning readers are somewhat embarrassed by the regurgitation of AM radio rants and/or dead stories that she passes off as opinion. Your readers deserve better.

Michael A. Morgan