Readers weigh in on President Obama, college and liberals

08/06/2014 6:35 PM

08/06/2014 6:46 PM

Poll slams Obama

The amazing thing about a recent Quinnipiac presidential poll isn’t that the majority of respondents listed Barack Obama as the worst president since World War II but that 33 percent still approve of Mr. Obama’s dismal performance. As Mr. Spock might say, the only logical conclusion is that these folks come from another universe.

Obama’s only claim to fame is he managed to bump the late Richard Nixon from the No. 1 spot for the worst president. That’s quite a feat for the most transparent president in history.

As most thinking people already suspect, the same poll rated Ronald Reagan as the best president.

A majority of voters now believe Mitt Romney would have been a better president than Obama. Vindication doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

This poll fosters hope that a nation that voted for Obama, not once but twice, has seen the light. Rational people of all backgrounds still inhabit the Main streets of the good ol’ United States of America.

Gregory H. Bontrager

Hutchinson, Kan.

College education

Carol Dark Ayres’ Aug. 2 column, “College degrees must be job-ready,” is a perennial cry of frustration from those who seem not to grasp the difference between a liberal education and vocational training.

An undergraduate degree aimed not at employment but at enlightenment is not an economic burden for young people anticipating graduate or professional school.

In light of the impracticality she deplores, Ayres might well be mystified by the prestige that continues to be attached to a liberal undergraduate education. Thanks to public liberal arts institutions, liberal education is becoming more widely accessible.

It does sometimes happen that an unrealistic student is counting on his or her bachelor’s degree with a major in, say, anthropology, English, history or psychology to be a job ticket. The enlightening effects of such an education, however, make this rather less than a tragedy, either for the individual or for society.

For several centuries now, nations increasingly have needed thoughtful, non-dogmatic populations — people prepared to innovate not only technologically but socially and ideologically. Liberal college degrees, by definition, must not be job-ready.

Robert Bates

Graber, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

of Anthropology

Truman State University

Kirksville, Mo.

Wrong-way drivers

ABC News reported earlier this year that each year 3 percent, or about 1,000, of our nation’s traffic deaths result from wrong-way drivers. A simple solution would be to install one-way spiked strips, like those you drive over when you exit some parking garages or rental-car lots, across all interstate exit ramps by the “Wrong Way” signs.

This would blow out the tires of drivers going the wrong way and prevent confused or drunken drivers from gaining entry.

Ronald C. Brown


Liberals’ turn to cry

OK, now, you liberals, try to remember what happened in 1973. That’s correct.

A closely divided Supreme Court overturned existing abortion laws in all states on nothing more than the opinions of a slim majority. You cheered, and conservative and religious citizens could do nothing but wring our hands and gnash our teeth.

Now, another closely divided Supreme Court decides to pull back slightly, again along religious lines. Now it’s our turn to cheer and yours to wring your hands and gnash your teeth.

And so why don’t you just suck it up and keep 1973 in mind?

You liberals were the first ones to champion human reasoning to overturn laws passed by elected representatives.

Robert Reimers


Government future

Based on several surveys, your average gun owner is a Southern, white, conservative Republican male who fears the U.S. government and believes the Bible is the source of “gun rights.”

Legislatures in Kansas and Missouri, which seem to be moving closer to secession, might have found the “well regulated militia” in the Constitution to aid in their defiance of the republic.

Their studied disregard for those interested in education, health, safety, infrastructure, protection of resources, jobs and the other aspects of the American dream indicate a coming theocracy or an oligarchy, but most likely we will end up with a kakotopia (a state in which the worst possible conditions exist in government).

John Nelles


Seeking news truth

When I read comments by readers about how bad the Obama administration is, I wonder where they are getting this nonsense.

President Barack Obama got us out of President George W. Bush’s Iraq war and Bush’s Great Recession.

Obama created a consumer protection agency, created Obamacare to address the increasing cost of health care and has improved America’s image abroad after years of the Bush-Dick Cheney wrecking crew.

Obama could do much more if not for Republican stonewalling, some of which, I am afraid, is racially motivated.

One prime source of the nonsense is Fox News. Studies, such as one by Fairleigh Dickinson University, indicate that Fox News viewers are much less informed about the issues than listeners of National Public Radio or even “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing Fox News is a propaganda organ, not a genuine news outlet.

A better idea is to read the news. Personally, I find starting with Google News to be the best source of objective reporting because it uses thousands of sources. Newspapers and news magazines also beat watching the news.

The news is not entertainment. But a lazy American public prefers to hear its own biases and myths reinforced than to make the effort to discover the truth.

Michael Zygmunt

Kansas City

American dream

Congratulations, America, for your courage shown in the present-day attempt to correct some of the indignities shamefully recorded in our history.

As an African-American, I find it difficult to put into words how much prouder I have suddenly become of this nation.

Not only because a black man has been elected as our president, but because of the revelation that our country has progressed to a long-awaited morality. It has never been a hidden fact that every person has a brain that could be a source for an idea that proves to be valuable.

As a nation we must provide our children, our future leaders, with an education, of which so many were deprived in our history. We should do all in our power to insist they attempt to learn that which they are taught in their schools and that they strive to become respectable, law-abiding citizens of their country and community and lead it (them) in the right direction.

The seed of opportunity has been sowed for us to fertilize, nurture and cultivate to an even greater society.

Thank your God, as I have mine, for this opportunity to provide a great country for our children and grandchildren for many years in the future.

This is truly a great step forward, hopefully with many more forthcoming. God bless America.

Ronald T. Craddolph Sr.

Blue Springs

Koch brothers’ cash

I am a Democrat. I believe the government has a duty to help the working poor and those who have fallen into dire straits through no fault of their own. And there are certain things that must be performed by the government.

What I admire about the Koch brothers is that they care enough about their country to get deeply involved in our political system. It would have been easy for them to join their fellow uber-rich billionaires in the constant pursuit of pleasure and avoid controversial subjects, but they chose not to. Hats off to them.

If they would simplify their objectives, such as implementing a no-deductible 20 percent tax for individuals and business or doing away with specific federal agencies, then Main Street voters (like me) could understand them.

Al Elton



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