AJC letters: Dec. 22

Anti-open discourse atmosphere worries letter-writer

I have liberal-progressive family members and friends whom I love unconditionally. But I have to say that one thing that irks me is Democrat political leaders assuming and promoting the moral superiority of their positions relative to our nation’s problems. Immigration and border security, threats of terrorism, the war on poverty and gun violence are hot issues that readily come to mind.

These are complex problems and it’s sad to see well-intended people labeling those who don’t agree with them on the causes and/or possible solutions to these problems as “racist,” “xenophobic,” “insensitive,” etc. Whatever happened to free speech, respectful dialog and open discourse?

It also worries me that an anti-free speech chill wind is blowing on many university campuses where those with opposing views to current liberal dogma and political correctness are being shut out or shouted down. Where did all the pro-free speech activists go? When did the “right” to not be offended by someone else’s speech become the norm in the halls of academia and in the public square? — FRANK MANFRE, SUGAR HILL

Republicans in the House have selective memory

I have really tried to listen to the House impeachment proceedings with a balanced ear, but the sarcasm and histrionics performed by folks like Doug Collins just remind me of why I have strayed from the Republican party. It so mirrors the facile actions of their leader, which is really sad. I also keep hearing the Republicans saying that the Dems have had it in for Trump since the beginning and are just upset that he won — selective memory keeps them from remembering that they did the almost exact same thing to President Obama when they prevented him from many acts and nominations during his terms of office. Let us get back to the style of leadership such as soon-to-be-departing Johnny Isakson, John Lewis and Elijah Cummings and work together for a common good. — DUSTY HAVERTY, WALESKA

Those who value their vote will make an effort

In the article titled “Fewer polls cut voter turnout,” News, Dec. 15, it was stated that an elderly woman in Clay County was “one of many Georgia voters who miss elections because their polling place is farther away that it once was.” That’s not a credible reason for not voting. I contend that 100% of legally registered residents who live inconvenient distances from a polling location could vote absentee and not miss a single election. If my 97-year old mother who was legally blind, had no car or drivers license, put forth the effort to request an absentee ballot, fill it out and mail it in, I dare say all rural voters in Clay and other counties could do the same. If people say they value the privilege to vote then they would make the effort.

— P.D. GOSSAGE, JOHNS CREEK

Like Vietnam war, Afghanistan war wasn’t worth it

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve lost the Afghan War, the longest war the U.S. has ever engaged in. And according to that war’s version of the Pentagon Papers recently released by The Washington Post, we never really knew what we were doing there. Nor did we ever know exactly whom we were fighting, how we would end it, and what exactly would constitute victory. It seems we learned nothing from the Vietnam War, until now the only war we ever lost, where we made exactly the same mistakes, including supporting corrupt regimes and their conscript armies. Also, both the Taliban and the Vietcong knew that even though they were outgunned and outmanned, all they had to do was survive and wait until we tired of the war. Although we did defeat Al Quaida, eventually killing Osama bin Laden, it had little effect on the overall chaos and violence. The only things we have to show for our involvement there are approximately 25,000 American casualties, more than 60,000 civilian casualties, and almost three trillion dollars spent. Like Vietnam, it wasn’t worth it. — LUCAS CARPENTER, CONYERS

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