Whatever happens next, this represents a sea change in the Times’s coverage of this issue, as all three letters are in sync. Until now, the Times has run a lot of mail–at least a dozen letters–that reflexively blame us, the people, for re-electing Bush & Co. As the paper has not, till this moment, run a single letter on the fraud in 2004 (and many of you have written just such letters, with ,myself on copy), this is remarkable indeed. Herbert’s column was a breakthrough.
This does not mean that there won’t be a counter-thrust by the denialists, who could, of course, weigh in as early as tomorrow. (Keep your eyes peeled for it.) Even if there is, though, we can now at least say that this long-suppressed debate is finally public.
June 14, 2006
Voters, Be Worried. Be Very Worried. (3 Letters)
To the Editor:
Warm thanks to Bob Herbert, whose June 12 column recommending Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s important exposé in Rolling Stone deserves the highest praise from every patriotic American citizen.
The integrity of our elections is certainly not a partisan concern or a left-right issue, but a civic matter of immeasurable importance. If we aren’t free to vote our representatives and leaders in and out of office, we really aren’t free at all, whether we declare ourselves as Democrats, Republicans or independents.
The Times is to be thanked, not just for running Mr. Herbert’s column but also for its excellent editorials on the sorry state of our election system nationwide.
With the midterm elections now just months away, the system badly flawed and neither party willing to confront the problem, we’re counting on the press to fulfill its constitutional duty to the people and make this all-important subject a top story.
Mark Crispin Miller
New York, June 13, 2006
The writer, a professor of media studies at New York University, is the author of “Fooled Again.”
To the Editor:
Re “Those Pesky Voters” (column, June 12):
Bob Herbert is correct in saying that although it can’t be proved that the 2004 presidential election in Ohio was rigged, in light of the irregularities observed in the process itself, it is overwhelmingly probable that it was.
When one considers what occurred first in Florida in 2000 and then in Ohio in 2004, one has good reason to be concerned.
The irresponsible and dishonest leadership of our current administration has already done our country and the world incalculable harm.
If free and fair elections do not exist here in America, democracy in our country, already under siege, is further jeopardized.
For our system of governance to work, we need appropriate checks and balances and Congressional oversight, both of which are directly dependent on an electoral process that is not fraudulent.
Election reform requires our immediate attention as a non-negotiable priority. If we fail in this effort, nothing else really matters. Our integrity as a nation and our standing in the world community, already deservedly weak, will be further eroded.
Emily M. Kerner
Belvedere, Calif., June 12, 2006
To the Editor:
Bob Herbert’s column should turn the stomach of every American who has been led to believe that our democracy is fair and equitable.
Election reform must happen at many levels, but first and foremost, laws must be passed to ensure that top election officials in states are barred from serving in any capacity with a campaign.
When college football teams play in bowl games, we don’t even allow the referees to be from the conference of either team. Shouldn’t we care at least as much when it comes to the refereeing of our national elections?
Mary Alice Carr
Maplewood, N.J., June 13, 2006
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