Letters for September 18, 2003

Money is to blame
Re “Republic’s end,” [RN&R, Cover, Sept. 11]:

Sitting here reading, I’ve gotten myself pretty worked up. I read the article about the power of U.S. citizens’ votes and the reality of recalls and just how our ignorance can damage what has been laid down for us by the original bad boys that founded this country.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll always root for the underdog. This country was, at one time long ago, the underdog. But now the people of this here country have gotten so full of themselves and so complacent that they’re fuckin’ it up and can’t even realize it.

We sit back and let the Man do our job for us, so we can take our extended lunch breaks and still make it home in time to see who’s-marrying-who-for-what on TV.

I might root for the underdog––despite the lazy and rich powers that be–– but I will not act on those impulses unless I know fully the context in which I’m acting.

It’s always more complicated than we think, but 99 percent of the time that just means money, which is very simple.

Impeach money. Let’s move on to something better.

Chad Sorg
via e-mail

Californians are right
Re “Republic’s end,” [RN&R, Cover, Sept. 11]:

If the people of California are too ill informed and busy to decide whether a clearly failing governor should be recalled, why were they allowed to elect him in the first place? Where do the founding fathers advocate a dictatorship? Where do the founding fathers suggest that election confers divine rights to the elected for a full four years? I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather put my trust in the decision of California voters. Perhaps a more relevant story would be the pandering to special interests that landed this elitist, out-of-touch governor in the fix he’s in. I suspect the founding fathers would be very comfortable with this recall. Even if it fails, it has at least made Gray Davis more responsive to what the people of California are interested in, rather than the special interests that helped him buy his re-election. The people aren’t stupid, and “By the people, for the people” is still OK with me.

James Witan

Direct democracy rules
Re “Republic’s end,” [RN&R, Cover, Sept. 11]:

Being a history teacher, I found Dennis Myers take on direct democracy very biased. He starts out by introducing the Progressives as “affluent, elitist and racist.” Perhaps if you are referring to the Theodore Roosevelt-types of Progressives, then yes. But there were many other reform-minded people trying to bring about positive, realistic reform in America. One of these people was Robert La Follette of Wisconsin who formed the National Progressive Republican League. Myers himself sounds elitist when he refers to the hard-working classes as having no time for education or participation in government [and] “voting on things they don’t have time to know or care about.” He brings up all the ways that direct democracy doesn’t work but fails to point out how it has worked.

Finally, there is the picture of George Washington with Myers’ own opinions on how Washington would have been “appalled by the uses of direct democracy to override representative government.” I find this very funny since Washington was appointed president by elitists and his office was far from a representative government. All of the representatives back in those glory days were affluent, elitist and racist. I would choose direct democracy over that kind of representation any day.

Whitney Foehl

Burning Man epiphany
Re “About a Man” [RN&R, Cover, Sept. 4]:

This Labor Day weekend, I experienced my first time at Burning Man. The experience I had there will live with me for a lifetime.

I was certainly impressed with D. Brian Burghart’s article. After you have an unbelievable awakening, you wish to relive it over and over by telling others of the experience and reading as much as you can on the subject. I love the Burning Man experience; the abundance of art in performances and visuals is astounding.

[I enjoyed] the spiritual connection, the environment in which the event takes place and the movement of the people of Black Rock, the roving art cars, hundreds of bicycle riders, the myriad sounds of the community at all times of the day.

I am impressed and overwhelmed with admiration of the human sense of community and love at Burning Man. Larry Harvey, you and your friends have created a wondrous event. I commend you and your Black Rock City. Reno is tremendously fortunate to have an event of this magnitude so near. Many thanks for opening my eyes to the glorious future available to humanity.

Carol Folvary-Anderson