Letters to the editor (1/23/13)

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The reason why Obama won a second term
Editor:
The angry older men in America are still at it, so it seems, bashing away at our president as if it is going to make a difference.
According to John Lopez’s long and rambling rant, he doesn’t much care for our president, nor does he approve of much that the government has to offer.
This is a prevalent gripe from the predominantly older male population in America who constitute the biggest voting block for the Republicans, according to the latest poll information.
While I agree with some of Mr. Lopez’s points, his argument about why Obama won the election is wrong. We have already heard the line, which extols the greed of the rif-raff who vote themselves entitlements, from the cynical republican echo chamber.
It is as if the sour grapes crowd has decided that we will “get it” only if they go over their obsessive talking points in even greater detail. The sad truth is that clever bumper sticker slogans and the usual contemptuous bullying didn’t seem to do the trick this time around.
Before you dismiss me as just another “liberal,” think again; I was a Republican for many years, but now register as an Independent. I completely understand the importance of industry for our economic recovery.
One reason that I changed affiliations is that a new type of Republican constituency hijacked the party, and these Republicans don’t seem to listen to anyone but themselves. Simply put, the Republican Party quit representing the fiscally conservative, socially tolerant crowd.
I might as well mumble to myself because I am quite certain that, due to their strong bias and dismissive attitude, most Republicans have already quit reading or jumped to their own conclusions based on their narrow ideological interpretation.
This is not true of their resourceful and rational counterparts, the traditional Republicans, many of which are also men.
Republicans who would like to revive their party might want to change these habits since they have become an obstacle to right wing success. That’s correct, it wasn’t Romney who lost the election, it was the radical Republicans who caused their own demise. And, there is good reason.
My vote wasn’t cast for Obama because he gave the “gifts” that both Mr. Romney and Mr. Lopez deride. After voting primarily for Republicans for many years, this is the first election that I voted straight party Democrat.
Here is why the new-style Republicans lost my vote entirely:
Many loud Republicans rant, but they don’t have any real or meaningful solutions. Hating Obama and anything that smatters of liberal, does nothing for this country.
Also, continuing to push policies that favor the “job creators” is not a solution, since these policies have been in place for many years without benefiting anyone but the privileged ridiculously wealthy who so unpatriotically hoard their cash safely off shore while the rest of us practice a new age of austerity.
What else do the Republicans offer? “No new taxes.” That’s not reasonable due to what Mr. Lopez pointed out; it isn’t fair to strap our kids and grandchildren with debt.
Simply put, paying the debt will take more tax revenue coupled with a slash in government services. So what else? Yes, we know neo-Republicans are afraid of just about everything and loathe Obama, liberals and their ideals; this isn’t a solution. Beyond that, I hear crickets.
Many Republicans perpetuate myths. For the hundredth time, kids can pray all they want in school and always could.  To continually launch attacks with baseless and false claims makes Republicans sound foolish and sews seeds of needless and counterproductive discord.
This is only one example of many such perpetuated myths and yes, the left does the same thing, but that doesn’t make it smart.
Many Republicans practice magical thinking. Two cups of Reagan economics, a teaspoon of deregulation, a dash of religion whipped together with a whisk of fearful rhetoric and walah, all will be well. We’ve tried that and it didn’t work. In fact, these were the main ingredients of the crash. Next?
Many Republicans are no longer conservative. They keep calling themselves fiscally prudent, but that doesn’t make it true. They claim they want to cut the federal budget, until it comes to their pet spending programs such as the military, which is their greatest most expensive sacred cow.
And that brings me to my next point.
Many Republicans practice hypocrisy. For example, they claim that the government has over-reached its boundaries; that is, until they demand government control according to their ideals.
What a blind spot the obsessive anti-teacher, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-compromise, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-anything-that-doesn’t-look-like-them has become.
What happened to the conservative value for respect and responsibility? Oh how the hubris and arrogance of the modern Republicans erodes our country.
Bash away neo-Republicans and then call it patriotism. Slather some religious butter on it and tell us it’s a fine meal.
The thing is, America desperately needs solutions. Are Republicans listening? When will the traditional Republicans make a stand within their own ranks?
My apologies to my Republican friends who are wise, wonderful and are not described above. I plead with you to please rescue the GOP from itself for the good of all of us.

Lisa Durkin
Los Lunas
Mitt Romney lost for several reasons
Editor:
Why did Mitt Romney lose the 2012 elections?
Many believed that his proposed policies and well thought out, common sense solutions to our nation’s problems would take us forward to embrace the 21st century.
All right, many supported Romney because he was the candidate they would rather have a beer with, or sit next to in a restaurant, in school, or the          White House.
I will not list nor discuss all of the many policies and solutions proposed by Romney during the campaign.  One should (research) his policy on immigration. In fact, many believe his policy on immigration alone should have won Romney the election.
To develop his immigration policy, Romney sought the advice and support of former governor of California, Pete Wilson. Wilson aggressively supported Proposition 187, also known as SOS (Save Our State),  the ballot initiative to deal with Mexican immigrants, which became the center piece of his immigration policy in the election of 1994.
Wilson sought the advice of an unknown Mexican American to develop his policy on immigration and implement Proposition 187, which became known as the policy of self deportation at the suggestion of the Mexican American advisor.
Mitt was so impressed with Gov. Wilson’s immigration policy,  he named him advisor to his campaign task force on immigration.
Also, he hired Wilson’s little known Mexican American,  Juan D. Portado,  as consultant.
The policy of self deportation gained national attention and considerable popular support  during the primary debates when introduced by Romney,  who has admitted he did not want to be president, but sought the Republican presidential nomination because of a groundswell of encouragement from the voices in his head.
Proposition 187 was declared unconstitutional in 1999. Juan D. Portado still remains virtually unknown, but Barrack Obama is president of the United States.

Tomás Garcia
Belen

Donations will help feed the hungry
Editor:
A great big “thank you” to all the citizens of Belen and surrounding communities for your generous contributions to the Salvation Army during this holiday season.
Your pennies and dollars will make it possible to reach our goal of feeding the hungry in Valencia County in 2013.
It’s a pleasant surprise that even though our economy has been in such dire straits for such a long time, so many of you still recognize the opportunity to give back and help others in need.

Mary Lou Dallas
First Assembly of God
Food Pantry

Belen celebration was a success
Editor:
This year, the city of Belen celebrated its 15th annual Miracle on Main Street Electric Light Parade and Festival on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Our event turned out excellent and I am grateful to everyone who contributed. Thanks to all the businesses who decorated and to the individuals who participated in our contests as well as all the parade entries. Everything looked great.
Lastly, I would like to thank the following businesses for their monetary support: Molzen-Corbin and Associates, Waste Management, ESA Construction, PNM, Manuel Lujan Agencies, Pete’s Equipment, New Mexico Underground, Plateau and Belen Railway Employees Credit Union.

Brenda Gurule
Director Belen Parks and Recreation