Letters to the Editor

If we want moderate candidates, we should have non-partisan primaries

A step toward the political middle

In response to “Is there a place for the political middle?” (Oct. 31 For the Record):

Kudos to D.G. Martin for articulating how many of us political moderates feel these days. I agree that our ultimate recourse may well be a new, moderate political party.

Meanwhile, moderates would be much more likely to be elected if North Carolina and other states stopped having partisan primaries. Instead, each voter in a single, open primary would get to vote for two choices for each office, with the top two vote getters squaring off in the general election.

State governments should make this simple, sensible change.

Ralph Levering, Davidson

We don’t have a political middle

D.G. Martin asks: “Is there a place for the political middle?” The answer, unfortunately, is no. The dialectic is dead. No longer are candidates pulled from the left and pulled from the right until they settle on a middle position. The reason? Gerrymandering, where candidates run in “safe” districts. Until we eliminate gerrymandering or create a viable third party that represents the middle, we will remain a nation represented by the “controlling fringe.”

Sharon Smith, Conover

The Constitution alone won’t protect us

To those who place their faith in the Constitution: Recent events have compelled the realization that without persons of good character who are willing to actively participate in upholding and defending it, the Constitution of the United States is just paper. This goes for everyone, including me and you.

John Dower, Lincolnton

What’s the holdup on the JFK files?

The Pentagon Papers chronicling U.S. involvement in Vietnam were published while the Vietnam War was still being waged. Richard Nixon’s White House tapes (which ultimately led to his resignation) were released during his presidency.

Why, then, is the CIA stubbornly refusing to declassify files from the JFK assassination – an event that occurred over 50 years ago? The excuse “national security” doesn’t fly. Surely the CIA must know that the Cold War ended over a quarter-century ago.

I’m sure that many others would join me in demanding the full release of all CIA files relating to the JFK assassination.

Stephen V. Gilmore,


All children deserve a good education

In response to “Rise in Hispanic kids is costing taxpayers” (Oct. 27 Forum):

CMS is a public school system, so we will have all different races of students. There are provisions made for non-English speaking students, not just Hispanics. All children deserve a chance of a decent education, and hopefully CMS can provide this for all students including non-English speaking students.

Nancy Jean Campbell, Cornelius

Pittenger doesn’t get Planned Parenthood

In response to “Taxpayers shouldn’t help pay...” (Oct. 26 For the Record):

Robert Pittenger is (once again) missing the point. Abortion is a safe, legal procedure. For decades, the federal government has determined that it will not pay for abortions, but it does pay for other reproductive healthcare, including contraception, mammograms, STI testing, etc. I don’t agree with the failure to pay for poor women to be able to get abortions, but since the federal government has abandoned that role, Planned Parenthood and other providers have stepped in to provide this legal procedure to those women who choose it. To suggest that there is a “loophole” if Planned Parenthood uses bonds to finance construction (if true) is typical of Rep. Pittenger’s muddled thinking. His views are not superior to the decisions of the Supreme Court.

Pamela Pearson, Charlotte

We must be diligent about safety

It’s disturbing that pedestrian accidents seem to be on the rise. Recently I was driving home after dark. As I approached a curve and an oncoming car, I was unable to swerve and had an alarmingly close call with a male on a bicycle. Not only was he dressed in black, but the bicycle was black with no reflectors. People wearing dark clothing are walking at night without safety lights and aren’t using sidewalks. Kids are skateboarding in the streets after dark.

We can’t let our guard down. Pedestrians and bike riders are not taking proper precautions, and drivers are texting, not paying attention or don’t see well at night. We all need to take responsibility and be safe.

Janis Alsop, Charlotte