Letters to the editor

Obama is like Carter

I read an article in Parade about President Jimmy Carter. It was an attempt to clean up his image. It might work for those who are young and did not experience the tremendous inflation, high interest rates and long gas lines.

He seemed to me to be a man without confidence and one who was incapable of leading a great nation, much like the current president.

They are both good ole boys in the eyes of socialists everywhere. They really do believe government should control everything in spite of the proof to the contrary.

I do praise him for the charity work he does.

Darrel R. Young


Dissent is American tradition

The recent vitriolic exchange of political editorials in the Highlands Today calls to mind that such dialogue is not only entertaining, it is an American tradition. History describes George Washington as the father of our country. Detractors like Thomas Paine thought otherwise, accusing the first president of enriching himself and his federalist supporters at the expense of Revolutionary War veterans and the country.

"The chief of the army became the patron of fraud," penned Paine, and history will decide whether Washington was "an apostate or an imposter." Not to be outdone, Washington supporters accused opponents of wanting guillotines in the nation's capital a la France and of wanting to build a "Babel of Mobocracy." Many historians view the election of 1800 as the birth of negative campaigning. Candidates Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, heroes of the Revolution, fell pretty to the partisan politics of the day. Adams was called a hypocrite, criminal and tyrant. Jefferson was a weakling, atheist, coward and traitor. Martha Washington even entered the fray by calling Jefferson "one of the most detestable of mankind."

Jefferson won a close election decided by the House of Representatives. Campaign manager Thomas Callendar convincingly argued that Adams planned to attack France. The claim was false and Callendar was jailed for slander. Feeling Jefferson should have pardoned him, Callendar then broke the story of the relationship between his former boss and Sally Hemmings, a slave at Jefferson's Monticello estate. The revelation provided ample ammunition for the anti-Jefferson forces during his two terms in office.

After viewing the Emmy-winning TV series "John Adams," actor Tom Hanks opined that "the Jefferson-Adams election was filled with innuendo, lies, a bitter partisan press and disinformation. How far we've come since then." How far indeed. Adams and Jefferson later put aside their differences and reminded themselves through a series of letters of the great nation they helped forge. They died on the same day, July 4, 1826 - the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

If history repeats itself, could the same fate await local scribes?

Ed Engler