The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bill Kumbier Letter 0/19/04

Dear Editor,
Judging from several quotes in the recent New York Times article, "For Many in Missouri, Picking a President Is More a Matter of Values Than Policy" (9/19/04), I sense that many of my fellow Missourians will be choosing between President Bush and Senator Kerry this year on the basis of "moral issues" and "Christian-influenced social values." Not surprisingly, coming from this self-proclaimed "buckle on the Bible belt," those moral issues are, pre-eminently, abortion, gay marriage and the freedom to tote a gun.
As one Missourian to another, I would encourage undecided voters in my state who are concerned with the morality of a presidential candidate’s position to think a little more broadly about what constitutes a "moral" action or policy. Is it moral to stand by and watch millions more descend into poverty, as recent U. S. Census Bureau figures have shown, while awarding the wealthy with over $400 billion in tax cuts? Is it moral to burden future generations of Americans with a deficit that will take years to eliminate? Is it moral to continue to allow almost 20% of our population to try to survive without adequate health care? Is it moral to initiate an unnecessary war that so far has cost the lives of over 1,000 Americans and an estimated 10,000 Iraqis, a war that has provoked yet more atrocities and shattered the lives of American and Iraqi families?
I appreciate the value that Missourians put on morality, but morality, Christian or otherwise, cannot be separated from social justice and a basic commitment to human rights. I believe Senator Kerry will come far closer than President Bush has to realizing those ideals. If Republicans claim that President Bush has done or will do that, then I respond, as we say in Missouri, "Show me!"
William Kumbier


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