November 29, 2004

Purple Politics
Fear not, New York! While Chris Smith touts a low 24 percent vote for Bush in New York City during this election [“Tangled Up in Blue,” November 15], the president actually gained a whopping 41 percent more city votes since the 2000 election. With a metropolis that happily votes (and reelects!) Republican mayors and governors, in short order we will all see the light—and assuredly it’s bright red.
—Russell Cohen, New York Young Republican Club, Manhattan

“What a bunch of sniveling losers! Seventy-six percent of New Yorkers got it all wrong—during the baseball season and election year.”
—John Murphy, Maplewood, N.J.

Let’s hope that those who threatened to leave the country if Bush was reelected are on their way out.
—J. Kearns, Hackensack, N.J.

The problem with so many New Yorkers is their blind ignorance of the rest of the country. Disrespecting the majority of the electorate is not a great way to influence the next election. Want to leave? Please do. Canada can have you. Make sure you take all your marbles when you go. I do so hope the Democrats will be foolish enough to nominate, oh, say, Hillary for president in 2008. It will virtually guarantee another Republican victory.
—Yvonne Kleine, Bayport, N.Y.

In “MoveOn and ACT: A Movement in Search of Its Next Cause” [November 15], Robert Kolker quotes Harold Ickes about the rise and fall of abortion rates. Perhaps the rise is linked to Bush II’s abstinence-only education policies. Uninformed teens are taught that condoms don’t work, that only abstinence does. Then we’re shocked when teens—hormones raging and uneducated about sexuality—end up pregnant and in need of abortions (and possibly HIV medication).
—Jacqueline Yodashkin, Forest Hills

James Atlas explains that the war in Iraq has led Middle Easterners to hate Americans, thereby increasing the threat of terrorism [“The Gathering Darkness of the Blue State of Mind,” November 15]. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on USS Cole, and both attacks on the World Trade Center (1993 and 2001) were carried out long before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
—Derek Solon, Manhattan

After reading the media’s complaints about the election, I’d like to offer some advice to them and the rest of the “intellectuals.” Spend the next four years learning a little something about foreign policy, economics, and the Constitution, and maybe you’ll come around in time to support Jeb in 2008!
—Doug Plotz, Manhattan

We Southerners love New York, the vibrant culture, the history, and the delightful people we meet when we visit. But New Yorkers need to face the reality that they are not America but part of America. New Yorkers would do well to get in touch with the rest of the country. America did not say to New York, “Drop dead.” We simply said that, after weighing the candidates and the issues, we had more confidence in George Bush than in the other guy.
—Marilyn S. Joiner, Shreveport, La.

As one of those born-again Evangelicals from the “red sea,” I urge all of you to take a good look at yourselves and get a grip. There are no red and blue states, only a great red sea with islands of blue. And the sea is growing. You are totally dependent on us. We grow most of your food, we mine the coal that provides most of your power, our drivers ship nearly all of your goods, and we blissfully ignore almost everything you say. There is no need for James Atlas’s friend to panic. Her wormy little 17-year-old won’t have to serve his country, because our kids volunteer.
—Major Charles T. Buntin, U.S. Air Force (Retired), Mayfield, Ky.

If I have to read one more “Poor New York” headline, I might be sick. Tell me, does this actually make other people feel good? New Yorkers love to bitch and complain, and the media definitely buys into it. But how about a few refreshing headlines?
—Tess Mcenroe, Manhattan

I have to thank you for making Thomas Frank a regular read in the new New York. Frank is terrific and right on the money about the dismal Dems [“What the Democrats Missed at the Populist Revolution,” November 15].
—Ivana Edwards, Manhattan

Free Bird
This year’s holiday-food issue looked delicious [“Stop Worrying and Eat,” November 15]. I hope consumers of such luxe food will consider other residents of New York City who wonder where their next meal is coming from. Attention should be paid to this segment of society, too.
—Joan Mary Macey, Binghamton, N.Y.

Kate Pickert’s description of her experience attending John McEnroe’s talk show [“Intelligencer: Talk Droop,” November 15] omitted the chocolate-chip cookies and the other sugar-intensive freebies provided to stimulate the audience.
—Mike Klein, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Simon Says
After reading John Simon’s rant “The Shtetl Hits the Fan” [“Theater,” November 15]—where he writes that The Immigrant was undeserving of the 80 percent standing ovation it received at the show he attended—the only thing that ran through my mind was that it was his review that was getting far more exposure than it deserved. As an immigrant, I was touched by the simplicity with which Mark Harelik told the universal story of a man’s struggles in a foreign country. The only thing deserving of being directed to the nearest dumpster is Simon’s article.
—Anna Kirtsman, BrooklynIt’s heartwarming that John Simon has finally realized Steven Sondheim’s music is special [“Wit Man’s Sampler,” October 25]. I feel reassured knowing that Mr. Simon is still growing intellectually. There is hope.
—Richard E. Palmer, Providence, R.I.

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November 29, 2004