Where everyone counts
As I read Sunday's letters to the editor, I was once again reminded that so many people today live in their own little world and therefore have a very limited view of the world around them.
One writer wants President Obama to be "humbled" and to "graduate to being a statesman" — ironic considering compared to the last Republican president, Obama is by far the most diplomatic. Still another reader wants immigrants to learn English and be "grateful just to be in the land of opportunity." I guess this writer is pining for the "America" where in her mind immigrants know their place — you know, instead of voting in elections and ruining her world.
For the first time in my life I saw people get motivated to vote — motivated by the thinly veiled Republican disdain for immigrants. Had you listened to us you may have noted we learned English, are now American citizens and can now decide the fate of this country. Maybe in the future we will no longer just be the Republican Party's punching bag. We did put "America first," and in our America everyone counts.
I learn about democracy from this great nation, a government by the people and for the people. The election results may not have been what you wanted, but it was what the majority of Americans wanted — a mandate for change in this country.
Last week you published a letter from someone who wanted to know why special-needs kids are in public school and not in a special school ("Questions," Your Views, Nov. 7). Working in the public schools for seven years with different levels of "special children," I think I can answer that.
First, all kids are worthy and deserve the best education, albeit how small, we can give them. The kids at our schools are extremely accepting of these kids. They have seen them at school since they were in elementary school. They do not stare at them, nor do they taunt them. The ones who cannot handle them are the adults.
We have taken our kids to fast-food restaurants, the mall, bowling and even swimming at the YMCA. Kids pretty much pay no mind to them; they are not bothering them. Some adults, on the other hand, give us dirty looks for bringing these kids into public areas. The kids today know all about the mental and physical issues of these kids, and seeing them in public does not affect them.
The adults need to understand that these kids did not ask to be born with these problems. They have rights, too. Maybe the letter writer could volunteer to work with these kids a few hours a week. He may find it very rewarding, as I have.
New Port Richey
Conservative or liberal?
I had to laugh when I read "GOP's rude houseguests," Your Views, Nov. 12). I, too, am a middle-class, white 57-year-old. I am also college educated and female. This is the first presidential election I have ever voted Democrat. But as I like to say, the Republicans "lost me at Schiavo."
Remember Terri Schiavo, the woman who was brain dead and hooked to a ventilator? George Bush and Jeb Bush tried to shove through legislation to keep her hooked up to that ventilator. Things have only gone downhill from there.
We now have a governor in this state who thinks is it OK to force women to pay for ultrasounds before exercising their personal decisions about a pregnancy. He approved a new university that Florida neither wanted nor can afford and tried to suppress voting rights and remove three state Supreme Court justices. Wow. I am still waiting for all the hundreds of thousands of jobs he promised.
And Rick Scott has refused to create the health insurance exchanges even though Obamacare is the law. My husband and I pay, literally, a salary before we have even one medical bill covered because we are a small company. My daughter was born with a pre-existing condition and has been turned down for insurance, through no fault of her own, because it isn't "profitable" for the insurance industry. You bet I voted for Obamacare. You would, too.
I am not looking for a handout. We pay more than anyone should have to. Mitt Romney never stood a chance because he is beholden to the far right and the tea party. The only plan the Republicans had consisted of vouchers. It reminds me of Disney World before they had one-price admission. You would get tickets for each ride, and that was it. It didn't work.
Wake up, Republicans. What I care about is that you keep your hands off my body, out of my bedroom and off my deathbed. Give me access to affordable health care. I am already paying for it, both for my family personally and in taxes for all the uninsured people who show up at the emergency rooms. Why should they get free health care on my back?
As for immigration reform, repeal the "birthing right." Just because you come over the border to have your baby in an American hospital does not make you an American citizen. Penalize the employers who hire the illegal immigrants and pay them half the wages that is putting the guy who is playing by the rules out of business. Provide a path for citizenship for the people who were brought here through no fault of their own and who have gone to school here, are productive and want to pay taxes.
I am also for mandatory sterilization of all people who decide it is OK to bring children into this world with no means to pay for them and think it is perfectly OK to take government handouts ad infinitum. So what does all this make me — conservative or liberal?
The smell test
When the Republican Party dumps the tea party and comes up with candidates for whom I want to vote without holding my nose, I will become a happy Republican again.
Sun City Center