To the Editor:
This election, the most important in our lifetimes (true every two years), will be decided by who does and, especially, by who does not vote (as always).
To our prospective nonvoters I would say you are not "above it all." You haven't "washed your hands" of the dirt of politics. You haven't "stood on principle." It's not even neutral. One side is happy you didn't vote.
If you don't vote seriously (for major candidates who have a real chance of winning) you are responsible for everything that goes wrong, because you did nothing to prevent it. And you get no credit for anything positive because you did not contribute anything.
I am not going to beg you to vote, to save the world, or even do what is in your own interest. You are all at least 18 years old. Adults learn to deal with imperfect choices. Not every candidate will "inspire" you. If you are lucky in life you will have a few inspiring teachers or coaches, but most of the time you have to show up and do your duty for the run of the mill classes. When you get to the world of work the vast majority of you will discover that very few of your employers have any interest in "inspiring" you, beyond threats of unemployment.
If you don't vote (and are not suppressed from voting), it's just laziness and irresponsibility. Is that a good description of you in general?
To the Honorable Senator Flake:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”
(As You Like It, Act II, Scene IV William Shakespeare)
I am glad you are stepping down from office––and not because the person who replaces you will vote differently. They won’t! No I am glad because you will never become the person you want to be while in office. Your pangs of conscience for wanting equitableness and fairness in government is painful to watch. You get up from your hearing seat and briefly sequester with Senator Coons. But the question that arises is why? It’s obvious to everyone who has followed your career that you will vote to confirm Kavanaugh. And you may think it’s outrageous for someone to presume to know the personal struggles of your convictions in these highly conflicted matters. But I know this from following your career––fealty-to-power always prevailed. Finally, you can leave office and stop being part of the madness. You and the country will be better off.
To the Editor:
The Arizona Republic is crediting Governor Ducey for partially undoing the mess he helped create (endorsement 10/7/18), or trends he had little to do with.
Back when he was treasurer he opposed a sales tax for education funding. He went along with Jan Brewer and the Republican legislature who refused to follow the citizens initiative-passed law requiring inflation-adjusted K12 funding and his Prop. 123 extorted its repeal in return for a fraction of what was due, and he paid for it by raiding our seed corn in the state land trust. He dug our financial hole deeper with worthless business tax cuts and only responded to our education crisis when 50,000 teachers and supporters descended on the capitol.
The Arizona economy is growing along with the rest of the country for the last eight years (thanks Obama), but Arizona's unemployment rate is a point above the national average and our median wage is below. Most people come to the state for the weather, or to service those who do. Is Ducey claiming credit for that? And a significant portion of our growth is from the billions of federal dollars for Obamacare, including Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, which Brewer and Ducey and most Republicans opposed until they couldn't turn down the money.
In contrast, David Garcia is a true supporter of public education, and health care and civil rights including women's rights. His views on immigration are similar to pre-Trump Republicans without the border hysteria and bigotry.
The idea of balancing the budget involves more than numbers; it requires meeting the needs of the state within its constraints, not just crying poverty.
To the Editor:
Robert Robb's "How Republicans lost the health care issue," (10/7/18) is comprehensively wrong. About Republicans, Democrats, Obamacare and healthcare.
Republicans have opposed every effort (except tax deductions) to have government provide, assist, subsidize or regulate healthcare, from Medicare, to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to insurance regulations to pollution controls to workplace and mine safety regulations to tobacco warnings to gun background checks. Democrats have had the goal of promoting health and have been willing to compromise on all these issues to advance the health and safety of Americans.
As every other industrialized country has discovered it is impossible to provide universal real health coverage strictly through private for-profit market mechanisms. Healthcare and safety cost money which reduces profits. They all recognize reality and cover their whole populations with better health outcomes (life expectancy, infant mortality, management of chronic diseases ...) at much lower cost with higher patient satisfaction. You will not find any country with "socialized medicine" that would willingly trade their system for ours.
Republicans are losing "the health care issue" because they never had a plan to (better and cheaper) cover everyone, including those with "preexisting conditions." They have been exposed as the lies they are.
And about those "preexisting conditions," just about everyone has one, or is related to someone who does. (Insurers consider acne, asthma, your old football injury, drug or alcohol use and being female to be "preexisting conditions.") If you are one of the lucky young healthy invincibles, just wait; your condition is coming, later rather than sooner if you are lucky. Being poor, or near poor, or even middle class can put health care out of reach.
There is always room for improvement, including of Obamacare, but, if you want to expand coverage, you will need more government subsidies and regulation, not less. The large copayments and deductibles for individual and employer-provided insurance are there to satisfy Republican insistence that individual "skin in the game" will hold down costs. The rest of the world have proven that the opposite is true.
The richest country in history makes many suffer or die without healthcare, almost everyone worry about it, and some go bankrupt getting it. Democrats want to fix that. Republicans never have and never will. It's just and "issue" for them.
Andrew March M.D.