Letters to MotherJones

Get to know Vermont
Re: “Voter Traitor”
7/03/01

Ted doesn’t know beans about Vermont politics. Vermont is not a partisan bastion like many other states. Vermont’s Republicans are fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and above all respect independent thinking.

Steven Rosenfeld

 

Green law
Re: “A New Green Deal”
7/03/01

This article is directly on point. I am a paralegal at a large southwest firm which practices enviro-law. Our clients are the industry side, and these are the types of arguments to which our clients are very receptive.

Steven Fuson

 

Globalize accordingly
Re: “It’s a Small World”
7/03/01

International trade agreements are destructive only to the extent that they inhibit the development of conditions that we value. There is nothing inherently expoitative or destructive about international agreements. If we value democracy and self-determination, then an international trade agreement that has the effect of reducing the power or possibility of independent labor organizations is bad. If we value reducing pollution, then an agreement which loosens environmental regulations and standards is also bad.

However, if a trade agreement requires that participants make changes that progressive people favor — abolition of death penalty, preventing monopolies, etc. — then that’s good. There is nothing hypocritical about favoring certain trade agreements while condemning others, or about praising the salutory aspects and criticizing the harmful aspects of the same agreement.

Progressives should be most wary of taking ideological positions for or against concepts like “globalization” or “free trade,” as such ideas have no empirical status, and are useful only as quick descriptions of tremendously complex processes.

A progressive agenda should evaluate all proposals pragmatically, by their observable effects, or infer the likely effects by the examining the outcome of similar situations from the past. Hence, when “globalization” raises environmental standards, we should applaud, and when it protects exploitative labor practices, we should cry out. To do otherwise would be the height of hypocrisy.

Noah Susswein

 

Jeffords kept his promise
Re: “Voter Traitor”
7/03/01

I think your point would be valid if there was any evidence that Jeffords was thinking along these lines before the election. When Bush took office the Republican Party’s long-evolving ideological shift to the extreme right suddenly ossified, becoming less fluid and more unyielding to views even of those within its ranks. This pushed Jeffords to change his party in order to effect the kinds of changes he believes in and was elected to effect.

Whether Repbulican or Democrat, people voted for him because they believed in what he was trying to do as one of their representatives in Congress. He held up his end of the deal by making the only move that would allow him to be true to that.

Susan Fryberger
Verona, NJ


 

Jeffords is a back stabber
Re: “Voter Traitor”
7/02/01

Here is one place I totally agree with Mr. Rall. Jeffords should be tossed out of office immediately and undergo a special election process, against qualified candidates of both opposing parties. Let the voters decide, and let’s see how courageous this back stabber is. Switch parties on your own time, buddy.

Alex Reyes
Knoxville IA