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)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Bill Kumbier Letter 10/04/04

Dear Editor,

For many voters in the four-state area, the main thing to decide in choosing a presidential candidate is whether the candidate’s moral character and stance match their own. I would encourage undecided Missouri voters who are concerned with the presidential candidates’ morality 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 and just for the wealthiest 1% of Americans to get more than $96,000 in tax relief while the middle class saves almost nothing? 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 insurance and so indirectly contribute to the premature deaths of Americans who do not have access to capable, timely 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 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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