Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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American people spoke on national priorities

To the editor:

I started this letter by refuting a number of columnist Jay Fleitman’s statements, but soon realized the issue was a deeper one. The problem, as I see it, is that the political system in this country is broken. While both parties share some blame, I place the majority of this problem at the feet of the Republican Party. Beginning with the scorched-earth policies of Lee Atwater in the Reagan years through the reasonable sounding yet nonsensical analyis of the Newt Gingrich years into the current Karl Rove-inspired blood lust, the Republican Party has left reasoned argument behind in favor of personal attacks and a disregard for facts.

It was Reagan who tripled the national debt, Bush II who doubled it again. Clinton left a surplus. Obama inherited an economy that was teetering, a financial system near meltdown, and, with little help from Republicans in Congress, stabilized the country. The stock market is back, the mortgage crisis is limping towards resolution and the country has health care legislation for the first time in our history.

Frankly, the American people voted for the Democrat’s and against the Republican’s proposals. The Republicans need to realize that, if the will of the American people means anything, it is that taxes need to be raised, the safety net needs to be reformed rather than reduced and that posturing, insults and total obstruction need to cease. If so, the Republicans have a chance in the 2014 and 2016 elections. If not, the reduction of the Republican Party into a regional party without a national presence will continue.

Don Lesser

Amherst

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