Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Nov. 7 letters to the editor

No tricks, only polite ghosts and goblins

We must live in the wrong neighborhood. All of the complaining about today’s children being spoiled, self-centered and disrespectful to adults didn’t exist in our neighborhood on Halloween night.

In fact, the opposite was true. The ghosts and goblins were polite, respectful, courteous and well-mannered.

We placed two very large bowls loaded with candy on our front steps. We remained just inside the front door to give everyone safe space.

We were warned beforehand that the candy would disappear within minutes because kids would feel free to grab handfuls. And, we were told, we might even lose the bowls by the end of the night.

That also was not true. We watched as more than 30 children of all shapes and sizes, dressed in a variety of costumes, carefully took one piece of candy from each bowl, offered a loud “thank you!” with a wave and happily dashed out of the yard.

We were impressed. The parents should be proud. It was obvious the children had been taught good manners and respect for adults at home.

The kids give all of us hope for a better future when they are in charge of running the country.

Mike Ellis

West Virginians support Build Back Better Act

Denny Poluga’s assertion (DP-10-29-21) West Virginia Democrats shouldn’t publicly criticize Sen. Joe Manchin or urge him to pass the Build Back Better bill doesn’t make sense to me.

Sen. Manchin himself encourages citizens to share their views with him; we don’t always have to agree on everything to be on the same team. And many West Virginians, including myself, have been frustrated by the senator’s foot-dragging on legislation that would help so many people and boost our state’s economy — something we badly need.

Among other things, the Build Back Better bill will provide universal preschool, expansion of the child tax credit and critical improvements to Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, making health care more accessible and affordable to thousands of West Virginians.

West Virginia needs help. Too many people are falling through the cracks of the current health care system. Many people can’t work at all because of the high cost of child care. This legislation will help West Virginians get healthy and back to work again, which will in turn help our whole state economy.

I think back to Sen. Robert C. Byrd, with whom I didn’t agree on everything, but who — when given an opportunity to bring federal dollars to West Virginia — never missed an opportunity, bringing jobs, highways and much more during his tenure in the Senate. Sen. Manchin has the opportunity to do the same and, at the same time, an opportunity to truly help our state and its people.

I agree 100% with the Mon County Democratic Executive Committee. I, too, urge Sen. Manchin to do what is right and pass this legislation that will provide badly needed help to our state.

Susan Case

Capito’s pessimistic arguments hold no water

Based on the interview in the Oct. 29 The Dominion Post, Sen. Capito’s arguments are thin.

Energy prices are going up? Let’s double down on coal and gas instead of finding ways to use green energy or to insulate our homes.

Climate change? She won’t mention it, while Suncrest had two “hundred year” floods this summer.

 She mentions “a workforce with many not interested in going back to work.” Maybe the problem is that child care, if it’s available, costs more than a parent would make working.

She wants to know what the programs are. I’m not sure, after our supposedly Democratic senator held up the bill, but the original plan was to help pay off student loans, allow for free community college, paid family leave for new parents and a host of other programs to allow people to work and pull themselves out of poverty.

She didn’t mention (or wasn’t asked) about the inflationary effects of the previous president’s tax cuts, or why she voted against investigating the attack on Congress on Jan. 6.

I’ve never seen anything she has said or done to help people in West Virginia or make the government run better. She has also never appeared, to my knowledge, at a public forum in Monongalia County.

Barry Wendell

Instead of leaving the party, work within it

This is in response to Dennis Poluga’s letter, published in The Dominion Post Oct. 29. Mr. Poluga said, because of a statement from a “few West Virginia progressives,” he is leaving the Democratic Party.

I am a lifelong Democrat and, like Mr. Poluga, I was inspired by the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960. My first awareness of the fragility of our democracy was the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. Like Mr. Poluga, I was deeply disappointed in the statement by the Mon County Democratic Executive Committee castigating Sen. Joe Manchin.

Although Sen. Manchin is considerably more conservative than I am, and I disagree with many of the positions he has taken over his long years in public office, I recognize that he has worked hard and diligently and been consistent in his views. I do not question his commitment to the people of West Virginia.

The Democratic Party, at its best, is a big tent embracing moderates and progressives alike. I believe that Democrats in Washington, including Sen. Manchin, will unite to enact the most meaningful set of social reforms under any president since Lyndon Johnson.

But Mr. Poluga has taken one misconceived statement, written and ratified by a handful of people, and chosen to desert the Democratic Party in favor of the GOP.

The Republican Party is a party that enacts right-to-work laws and tax giveaways to the rich, largely rejects the science of climate change and seeks to restrict citizens’ precious right to vote. Its leader is Donald Trump, who actively undermines over two centuries’ history of accepting the results of fair elections, and who supports the domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. It is a party which, with very few exceptions such as Rep. Liz Cheney, cravenly endorses whatever lies Mr. Trump utters.

There is an alternative for people like Mr. Poluga: Work within the Democratic Party in support of your own agenda and candidates who share your vision. That’s what John F. Kennedy would have done.

Robert F. Cohen Jr.

Neither Manchin nor Capito helping W.Va.

Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito have both brought shame on themselves and violated their obligations to the citizens of West Virginia by not fully supporting the legislative packages that are part of President Biden’s agenda to improve the lot of ordinary Americans with economic and social proposals and addressing our seriously neglected national infrastructure and effects of climate change.

Each of them has their reasons for doing so, but neither of their rationales holds even a cubic centimeter of water. Sen. Capito is a Republican toeing the company line; any moves to improve life in America, and by extension West Virginia, reek of socialism while Republicans simultaneously fall all over each other to help millionaires and billionaires and profitable corporations. Her party has abandoned any pretense of desiring to effectively govern the 330-plus million of Americans as has been its wont this entire century to date.

Sen. Manchin is a Democrat who, due to the current makeup of the Senate, wields enormous power in getting legislation enacted. He refuses to toe the Democratic Party line, not as a maverick, but because he fears the blowback in his home state wrapped in the fiendish hands of the GOP.

There was ample evidence that much that was contained in those packages could directly benefit us Mountaineers. But now they have been scaled back or eliminated. Sen Capito, by virtue of her membership in the GOP, did not surprise anyone and, due to Manchin’s situation bringing the publicity, has managed to escape the pressure. If Manchin can defy his party to gut these provisions, why could not Capito defy her party to support them?

There have been accusations that both are beholden to moneyed interests or the big bucks of campaign donors. That is an argument best left to another time. However, the bottom line is both have chosen to forego a great opportunity to improve our nation and our state. We have riches and resources beyond measure. We collectively lack the desire to use them wisely.

David Hammond