Thanks to Rene' H. Wallace who shared this full version of her letter to the editor written to the Crittenden Press. An abridged version was printed in the paper's Nov. 20 issue.
To The Editor:
I would like to thank the editor and Matthew T. Patton for providing a much needed opposing view about the election. I have heard more positive comments about that letter and heard from many friends in other states about how refreshing it was to hear an opposing view than Lucy Tedrick's column.
For many years, I felt a twinge of guilt for not speaking up against the judgment, propaganda and inaccuracies in her column. In a small town, it's hard to express a different view and risk being judged for your comments. For many years, I had the opportunity to see Tedrick in a business setting and I found her to be genuinely nice. And although I didn't agree with her views, I respected her right to her beliefs. I wish that same sentiment and respect was returned. Every time someone writes a letter opposing what she writes, she attacks the person back the next week with vitriolic, bitter sentiments (as I'm sure she will do next week in response to this letter). In more recent years, I increasingly felt this column implied her belief and way of thinking was the only right way of thinking. I feel the newspaper should have a column providing a balance for the readers (perhaps one with a Democratic slant). Currently, it does not.
My father, my husband's father and someone who has been more than a father to me, all fought in WWII and guaranteed me the right to believe as I do. My husband's father was a POW for years and lost an arm in the war. The very suggestion this unwarranted Iraq war could even minutely compare to WWII is offensive. The WWII veterans I spoke with did not and do not support this war. And to suggest the GOP is the only group respecting our troops is offensive and disgusting. As many, I support our troops but not the war. And there's a distinct difference. Since when did the military become a GOP institution?
I just don't understand why so many papers, editors, columnists, bloggers, preachers and others feel the need to tell any of us who to vote for and why we should. As Patton noted in his letter, America finally woke up.
I felt so much pride in America the night of Nov. 4. The country that had always over-achieved and used lofty ideals to do so, had risen to the occasion. It will take all of us to recover from the blunders of the last eight years. It's so disheartening to read the cost of the Iraq war will exceed $3 trillion and we are building better schools and hospitals in Iraq than some of our own citizens have access to. I sometimes wonder how Bush will answer to his creator for the 4,000-plus young men and women who gave their lives for an unjust war and the countless hundreds of thousands who were wounded.
I love my country and I love this county. I feel so much gratitude, that as a child, I was enveloped and loved by a congregation that never forced "doctrine" on me, but encouraged me to interpret God's holy word by prayer and conviction. I will always be grateful to the United Methodist Church for giving me acceptance, guidance and love, without one word of judgment or intolerance. Along the way, many teachers went above and beyond in leading us to be curious about our leaders and government. I remember Louise Allen Watson telling me why she was a Democrat and being in church every time the doors were open. I remember Linda Cook taking me home with her from school and making me feel like "family." I don't need an editorial, a bumper sticker or a hate-filled religious column to tell me how to think. I respect their views and honestly don't understand their fervor in not accepting mine.
Rene' H. Wallace, Marion, KY