, Kingston, NH

September 19, 2013

Response to Jim Mittica

Carriage Towne News

---- — Response to Jim Mittica

It’s hard to know where to begin in responding to Jim Mittica’s letter to the editor of the Carriage Towne News, as he has so many facts wrong.

First of all, there’s nothing “socialist” or “socialized” about President Obama’s health care plan. It is a compromise plan first devised by Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney that leaves the private insurance system in place, simply requiring insurers to cover all comers instead of cherry-picking the healthiest customers, in exchange for a guarantee that everyone who makes a living wage will pay something into the health care system. While it’s not perfect, it’s certainly better than the current system that leaves millions of Americans lacking the most basic care. Romney’s MassHealth plan was supported by many businesses as a way of getting health care for their minimum and low wage employees.

Second, while Al Queda hasn’t been eradicated - and won’t be in our lifetimes - President Obama’s administration actually found and killed Osama bin Laden, which is more than President Bush’s administration was able to do. American military forces have also captured or killed many of the movement’s most important international strategists. The idea that there will never be any American mistakes or victims in this “War on Terror” is simply naive. And you might want to consider that Democrats had to sit by for eight years while their tax dollars funded two disastrous and inconclusive wars - one of them based on deliberate lies by the Bush administration about Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Third, the news media are not all Democrats. I worked for a long time as a reporter for The Associated Press, and my colleagues were both Republicans and Democrats. However, regardless of our personal political views, we all prided ourselves on asking tough questions of everyone, especially during campaign season. Indeed, we had to, as the AP’s stories are used by news outlets ranging from The New York Times to Fox News. The Boston Globe, which leans Democratic on its editorial page (just as The Union Leader and Wall Street Journal advocate Republican policies on their editorial pages), does a wealth of investigative reporting on corruption among Democrats, from Mayor Lantigua of Lawrence, to the former Chelsea public housing director, to William Bulger’s ties to his convict brother, to the insularity of the Boston firefighter’s union. Try actually reading it before denouncing it as biased. Editorial pages are supposed to carry opinion, but papers of all political stripes editorially have good, objective reporters on their News pages. That’s what counts.

Finally, I am glad to see that the younger generation, across the political spectrum, seems to be less hateful and less racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and anti-gay than many of us were raised to be. If that’s the “fault” of our schools, then our teachers are doing something right. I met fine young people volunteering for both Republican and Democratic candidates during the 2012 New Hampshire primary season, and all of them were more tolerant of individual differences than many members of my generation and even the candidates they campaigned for. They actually seemed to believe in one of our country’s founding principles: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal....”

K.W. Webster