Letters to the editor

Oct. 19, 2013 @ 01:13 PM

Careful what you wish for  

The editorial from the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle published in the Durham Herald in the Letters to the Editor space Oct. 14 argues for congressional term limits based on “tenured incompetence” of long-time incumbents.   While cases that support this argument can surely be made, more instances can be cited of the importance of the skills of long-serving members in successfully negotiating solutions to contentious issues.

Politics is the art of the possible.  Successful congressmen and women must be able to understand how to move forward in spite of honest differences.   The danger of electing extreme ideologues with little or no experience in government or interest in the give-and-take of political negotiation is evident in the disaster of the so-called tea party coalition in the House.  They have been willing to bring down their party, the whole government and even the world financial structure, rather than compromise in any way. 

Lacking the perspective of experience, they have essentially forced the weak Republican leadership to join them in effectively committing party suicide.  It is very likely that the experienced leadership of both the House and the Senate could have avoided the current debacle if it were not for the die-hard stance and influence of these inexperienced ideologues.  In my opinion, we would be much better off risking having a Congress with few “tenured incompetents” than having one with

a band of such “untenured fools”.  Term limits?  Be careful what you wish for.

Richard A. Palmer

Hillsborough

Leave our country

I wonder where Bob Vasile (Letters, Oct. 16)  got the rose-colored glasses he is looking through that are preventing him from seeing what is going on in Washington? All the politicians there need to be voted out and someone with some common sense needs to be elected.

As for Mr. Vasile, he should take the idiot that we have as a president and all his liberal cronies and leave our beloved country.

Tony Rigsbee

Hurdle Mills

Stop ‘fracking’ before it starts

When the credits began to roll at the end of the “Gasland 2” premiere at the Carolina Theater last Monday, I was glad I hadn't watched it alone. The personal horror stories of people whose land has been fracked that it documented were frightening to say the least. Josh Fox, the director, immediately came out to answer questions from the packed audience. His most resounding statement was that it is much easier to stop the fracking companies before they start.

We have an opportunity to do just that here in North Carolina and we must seize it in order to save our unique waterways from contamination. I urge all local politicians including Gov. Pat McCrory to watch the film if they haven't already, and to respond to its warnings by enacting a permanent ban on fracking in our state to protect our water forever.

Thank you for your time,

Danny Fry

Durham

Tolerance, understanding lacking

Gay marriage. How did reading those two words make you feel?  If you're like most Americans, you had a strong emotional reaction, positive or negative.

Begin by accepting that there are good, genuine, well-meaning people on both sides. Generally, those in favor of gay marriage are not trying to upend the moral fabric of America nor are those opposed attempting to impose bigoted views on everyone else. Gay marriage is a battle between differing moral codes and world views. Therein lies the fundamental problem.

Folks in the gay marriage debate often talk past each other, invoking concepts that, to the other side, ring hollow and may even sound ridiculous. What does a non-Christian care what the Bible says? How is one who sees gay marriage as counter to their religious-moral code to understand an analogy to the civil rights movement?

Respect is grossly lacking and must be restored around the gay marriage debate. Proponents have been looked down upon and judged by those preaching love on Sundays while opponents have been called backwards bigots by the very people demanding tolerance.   Religion, morality, love and justice are powerful values deeply held and worthy of respect. If you cannot engage in an impassioned debate without resulting to demagoguery, perhaps you should excuse yourself from the discussion.

Gay marriage will be settled one day. In the meantime, let's not lose friends and offend our neighbors with a lack of respect and tolerance for differing viewpoints.

Pearce Godwin

Durham