Reader letters, Oct. 12

Oct 12, 2016

Race to the Bottom

To the editor:

As new revelations are released weekly, I’m overcome by sadness and disdain for what our political parties and complacent society have offered as candidates for the highest office in the land.  The two major candidates have serious character flaws; lacking the honesty, integrity, and moral compass to lead this country.  While I will vote, I cannot and will not vote for either one of them.

To supporters that argue that not voting for their candidate is passively supporting the opponent, I ask whether they have seriously researched their candidate and whether their conscience truly permits that choice.  Or are they being driven to vote against the perceived ‘greater evil’.  The lesser of two evils is still evil and my conscience will not allow me to succumb to either choice.  I also reject the rationale that ‘they will surround themselves with great people’; finding this as hollow as this election cycle’s tired clichés, ‘Stronger Together’ and “Make America Great Again’.  We are tasked with electing a ‘leader’; someone to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers and greatest presidents.

I have watched in disbelief while interviews and analyses center around lies, e-mails, tax returns, temperament, and the treatment of women.  We have heard outlandish promises regarding tax cuts, massive deportation, free tuition, more entitlements and outlandish ‘stimulus’ spending.  I have not heard reasonable approaches to:


-       A balanced Federal budget, much less our $19 trillion national debt,

-       Obamacare’s current death spiral, with more providers exiting the system and next year’s average premium increase forecast at over 24%,

-       Social Security (a ‘taboo’ topic along with Medicare and Medicaid),

-       Repairing the deterioration in racial and ethnic relations that has occurred over the past eight years,

-       Combating terrorism (foreign and domestic) with a depleted military and porous borders,

-       Addressing a completely failed Veterans Administration,


Religious individuals rely on God’s intervention to ensure the correct individual will be selected.  While I agree that God is in control, man has been given free will.  Throughout history, his people have been offered choices, including this year during the primaries.  While we have freedom to choose, our choices have consequences.  Abraham Lincoln warned that if our nation was destroyed, it would happen from within.  Take a look around.


Bob Knoedler

Maggie Valley


Muslims welcoming, respectful

To the editor:

I was encouraged to read a current editorial in The Mountaineer which commented on the positive aspects of Muslim culture. My family had the good fortune of living in the Sudan, East Africa for almost three years back in the ‘80s.  During our stay we lived our western life style in the midst of a Muslim majority, which was always welcoming and supportive.
My staff was 98percent Muslim, as were our neighbors. Not once in our time there were we ever offended by either nor the general population. On the contrary, we were received wherever we went with sincere hospitality and good will.
During our stay we practiced our Christian faith with not a hint of discrimination from our host country's citizens. I remember well my staff's joyous congratulations to my family during our celebrations of Christmas and Easter. There was a genuine sense of mutual respect for our respective religious beliefs and practices.
One of the major lessons I learned in my sojourn abroad was that it is important to distinguish between a given government's official policy and the behavior of its citizenry. While the Sudan government holds obvious difference with our western values and mores, we never once experienced negative remarks from the general populace. Added to that, the child sponsorship agency I represented  was never criticized by the government officials whose endorsement was essential to our very existence within the Sudan.
Recently my wife and I joined a reunion of three other U.S. couples whom we befriended during our common time in the Sudan. While we moved in different circles within our respective work, (educators, community development promoter, and businessmen), there was not one negative word mentioned about the Muslim Sudanese with whom we each had come to know in our own way.
We departed our reunion concerned about the negative perspective many of our U.S. citizens have come to hold as truisms about Muslims.  It is important that we understand that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are welcoming, peace loving, and good citizens. It is our hope that more Americans will come to know the upside of one of our world's major religions and its devout followers. A closer examination of the Muslim faith would recognize the similarities not differences between other faiths and Islam.
Jim Geenen