Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

June 13 letters to the editor

To the First Lady of W.Va. and her staff

 I wanted to personally thank First Lady of West Virginia Cathy Justice for the opportunity for my English students in Monongalia County to participate in her essay contest “Renaming the State of West Virginia.”

Not only was this topic an entertaining challenge for students but it was most engaging! It definitely got students interested in a topic that not only allowed them to express their feelings about our state, but it utilized the highest facets of Bloom’s Taxonomy in which they had to analyze, synthesize, evaluate and ultimately create.

The winners of this contest also prove that West Virginia Studies is an important part of our state curriculum. They used their knowledge of state history, socio-economics, geography and politics to create a name they felt embodies the true spirit of our beloved state.

I personally had a fifth-place winner in my English class, and I can tell you, not only is he a magnificent writer, but a West Virginia History Bowl champion and a Knight of the Golden Horseshoe.

I think we are doing great things in this state to not only to make people love it, but retain them. We need minds such as these to help keep us progressive and moving forward! Thank you again for offering such an inspiring and thought-provoking essay prompt. These students will surely make us proud one day as future “Best Virginians.”

Margaret A. Reider

Manchin should support an amended HR 1

Sen. Manchin has announced his opposition to the “For the People Act,” the voting rights bill currently in Congress.

I believe prior statements are that the law as written would hurt West Virginians, a dubious proposition at best. Quite frankly, legislation is needed to curb the voter suppression laws being enacted in many state legislatures under the control of Republicans.

One reason given seems to be that Manchin’s opposition is because no Republicans favor the law. Duh? Of course they don’t favor it. They want to suppress voting, not ensure all Americans have proper access to the polls. It’s like a law against murder being opposed by murderers.

Then he refuses to take steps to end the filibuster. Yes, both parties have used the filibuster to their advantage, but the nation has not been well-served by that process in its current incarnation.

Manchin has this apparently naive belief in bipartisanship. The Republican Party gives lip service to bipartisanship but very clearly has demonstrated no actual desire to practice it during the Obama or Biden administrations, promising instead to block anything proposed without regard to any merits.

The FTPA may be flawed. In fact, Sen. Angus King, one of its sponsors, says amendments are needed. Fine — open that to debate. But don’t expect that to bring any GOP votes in favor. The bill is partly a reaction to the voter suppression efforts of Republicans.

So, Sen. Manchin, quit dreaming of pie in the sky GOP bipartisanship. Instead, do your job for the citizens of West Virginia and Americans everywhere by voting for the law as amended and helping end the decidedly undemocratic filibuster. Fulfill your oath.

David Hammond

Manchin is right not to support ‘For the People’

At the June 1 Morgantown City Council meeting, the council passed a resolution in support of federal passage of the “For the People Act” or HR 1.

In various news sources, HR 1 is called other names, such as “Nancy Pelosi’s Socialist Take Over of America Act” and “Make Election Fraud Permanent Act.”

 It is obvious that the council members did not read the nearly 800 pages of the HR 1 bill. This bill would give the U.S. government control over the state’s election laws.

 This HR 1 is a political question, and every voter has a right to their own opinion. However, a few council members should not have taken their chance to express their own opinions and treat it like it was what the city of Morgantown wanted its voters to do.

Jack L. Britton

Representing West Virginia’s best interests  

Partisan politics stand in the way of quality of life and prosperity for West Virginians. West Virginia is fortunate to have two talented senators in Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito.

The rub is that political posturing, hollow words and hidden agendas are leading them astray. Our senators need to cut through the stink of partisan politics and be bold for West Virginians.

 I make a passionate plea to Sens. Manchin and Capito to support the infrastructure bill as proposed by President Biden. Most segments of this bill have been supported by Republicans and Democrats. No economic or political sacrifice is needed to generate jobs that promote clean air, clean water, high quality education and health care.

How much of our state’s population do we need to lose before we implement a more effective approach?

The American Jobs Plan contains tax credits and charging stations for electric vehicles as well as incentives for solar and wind power manufacturing and installation. These measures would create thousands of jobs right here, right now in West Virginia. With the right tax credits, my wife and I will switch to an electric vehicle. The planet has been good for us, we want to be good to the planet!

Even the politically conservative International Energy Agency recently stated: “It is past time for governments to act, and act decisively to accelerate the clean energy transformation.”

Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, please give the common person in our state the tools to help themselves. Find it in your heart and political wisdom to support the American Jobs Plan.

Dr. Bill Reger-Nash

In new GOP, accepting truth considered dissent

A few weeks ago I encouraged our representatives to support Liz Cheney and vote against ousting her from leadership.

One response noted that dissenting voices such as Cheney’s distracted Republicans from their end goal. It seems that our representatives believe that simply saying we should embrace the results of the election and the truth, then move on is dissent.

But, isn’t this a unifying message that will help Americans move on, together, on common ground? As it stands, a significant number of Americans have been lied to and misled to believe Trump actually won the election. This leads to persistent doubt and resistance by some followers who see problems in very narrow terms.

The representative wants to focus on the crisis at the southern border, an emboldened China and Russia and inflation. How will representatives solve the problems at the southern border? Will Republicans just close their eyes to the problems of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador?

Trump built some fence and rolled back initiatives that addressed longer term issues associated with hurricanes, earthquakes, a lack of food and gang violence in the region. This habit of pretending that things don’t exist, or that anyway, they are not our problem, is why these problems continue.

It is difficult to see how a party, whose intellectual process requires implicit acceptance of the idea that the presidential election was rigged and continued allegiance to the man promulgating those lies, could advance realistic solutions to the country’s many problems.

Despite all the failed lawsuits filed to contest the 2020 election results, we continue to see Republican senators and congressmen resist acknowledging the lost election. This failure to live in the real world goes far to embolden the Trump base as we saw with Flynn’s recent coup remarks.

Republicans should champion democracy over autocracy. As a country, we do need to focus on the problems we face as a nation; we need to debate alternative approaches. To do that, we need to plant our feet in the real world and accept no less.

Tom Wilson

Filibuster, reconciliation both tools of the Senate

Regarding the filibuster:  Sen. Manchin’s adamant defense of the filibuster is inappropriate and spurious at best and wrong in fact.

The Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 5 [2]) states, in part, that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings … From time to time, both parties have employed the filibuster and have employed reconciliation to avoid it. Though not specifically granted in the Constitution, the filibuster emerged more than two centuries ago as allowed by the rules of the Senate.

The founders were concerned with the “Tyranny of the Majority” — that the republic’s majority might unduly suppress the republic’s minority. Today, we are faced with the “Tyranny of the Minority” — the thwarting of the republic’s majority by application of filibuster.

Filibuster is by Senate rule. Reconciliation intends to overcome the suppression of majority rule by providing a means for altering the rule and is made difficult to protect the rules from whimsical or unwarranted tampering. Reconciliation is every bit as much of the senator’s rule kit as is the filibuster — it is a means toward effective legislating.

Yes, we must be careful what we wish for when altering the rules — unanticipated influences and unintended consequences being as they are. It is the intent of the user that determines appropriateness.

 When consequences are crucial to a decision, we must use the tools available to us to influence the decision. When faced with blatant and avowed obstructionism, our legislators can use their privileges to combat it. Obstructing the function of the U.S. Senate has been openly avowed by Sen. McConnell. If reconciliation is the only tool available in the face of proclaimed and continuous obstructionism, then reconciliation is warranted.

Sen. Manchin is within his privilege granted by the Constitution to oppose reconciliation, but it is equally within his power to employ the tool to achieve the good of the people.

Bill Wyant