Readers Forum

Reader responses to our Fall 2008 issue, on Purple America.


What About Education?

After reading through the Fall 2008 issue I was excited to come across the 10 Policies For A Better America. Health care, immigration, economy, and elections all matter a great deal, but what about public education? Our children need and deserve education to be at the top of their agendas. Our federal No Child Left Behind policy does not serve all students and has wreaked havoc on learning communities. It is more important than ever for Americans to take an interest in what is being asked of students and teachers.

—Brooke O’Connor, Portland, OR

Running for Office

Your “From the Editor” page in the Fall 2008 issue inspired me. As a first-time candidate for county legislature, I want my agenda to be in the purview of the people I serve. I intend to serve the residents of this legislative district based on their priorities, to draw on our collective creativity and intelligence to bring us together with all hands on deck for solutions, and to reach beyond my comfort zone to find common ground.

—Cynthia S. Aikman, Auburn, NY

A Trojan Horse

I always am excited to get YES! in the mail as antidote to the corporate media I can’t avoid. I was almost brought to tears when I read the Working Families Party described as “bringing people together for economic fairness.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The Working Families Party is merely an organ of the Democratic Party.

In 2006, Working Families tricked tens of thousands of voters into thinking they were anti-war, yet voted for pro-war candidates like Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer. The party is now hawking the same insurance-company-based healthcare that Obama is trying to sell, repackaging it to make supporters think it is as good as single-payer, universal healthcare.

I am upset that you are promoting Trojan horse politics rather than the truly independent progressive parties that exist in this country.

—Ian Wilder, North Babylon, NY

Include Fox Viewers

My husband picked up a copy of your magazine at an Earthfare store. We had recently been discussing how “divided” our country is and how concerning that is to us. The cover of your Fall 2008 magazine seemed to be non-partisan and there were several topics that attracted him and that he knew I would be interested in too.

I opened the cover and started reading “From the Editor” and immediately was insulted by “as ill-informed and jargon-filled as Fox News.” We have watched Fox News for years and thoroughly enjoy it. Even though you have insulted me right off the bat, I will read your magazine to determine if all of it is as biased as the editor’s statements or if your staff is truly trying to bring folks together.

But I felt like I should point out that if you’re truly trying to fulfill your mission—“just, sustainable, and compassionate”—then you should be inclusive of all people—even Fox News viewers.

—Cindi Straughn, Siler City, NC

Family Political Feuds

I am a senior in high school, and I could completely relate to Kate Sheppard’s article, “Why My Dad’s Going Green.” The experiences and feuds with her dad are classic examples of what occurs not only in my household, but in other households throughout America that have family members with different political views.

I’m anxiously awaiting the winter issue, knowing that this magazine expresses my views on life and the world.

—Lindsey Lachner, Lake Forest, IL

Ready to Compromise?

I love YES! Keep it up! A little comment/suggestion:

I read your Purple America issue and really liked it, but as a former conservative it seems like the issue did not discuss where liberals will compromise. Reading the issue, it looked like it was just assumed that conservatives will join the green anti-corporate movement.

Any type of real change will involve listening to uncomfortable truths as well as spreading what we know to be right and good.

—Paul Bennett, via email

Not Just Wages

One could examine the “time-adjusted wages” graph in David Sirota’s provocative article on economic populism (Fall 2008) and reach the conclusion that the working class is better off than they were in 1975.

Graphs of “real wages” don’t take into account the widespread stripping of retirement benefits. Few of us would maintain that two workers earning the same nominal wage, with one of them entitled to a pension (and perhaps retirement health benefits too) and one not, are being compensated the same.

—Jim Shaw, Grand Blanc, MI



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