I'll vote for LoBiondo
- but he should debate
I was disappointed to read that Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, has declined to debate Democratic candidate Cassandra Shober. I believe that the voting public would greatly benefit from candidates going on the record and justifying their positions.
I am voting for LoBiondo in November because I believe it is important to maintain Republican control of the House of Representatives. Even considering our disagreements, he is a better pick than Shober, who seeks to advance the disturbing trend toward bigger government.
However, LoBiondo's reason for not debating is both illogical and insulting. He charges that Shober isn't taking her campaign seriously, but in refusing to debate her, it appears to me that LoBiondo is the one not taking his campaign seriously.
Mike Assad was a candidate in the Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District.
LoBiondo is hiding
by refusing to debate
The Press reported on Sept. 13 that Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, has refused to debate with the Democratic candidate, Cassandra Shober. His campaign manager, according to The Press, says that "LoBiondo meets with groups and personally responds to many calls, and that residents know him and his positions on issues."
This reasoning is flimsy and entirely misses the point. Meeting with groups allows you to be in a congenial setting, control the agenda, avoid surprises, and address only what you want to address with no competing points of view present. Moreover, I suspect that for the most part, residents only know about the positions that the congressman wants them to know about, and not those that may be harder to defend.
A debate would rectify these problems: The setting would be neutral, and the questions to be addressed would be determined by others, so that answering them is a test of candidates' ability to go beyond rehearsed speeches. And all statements that the candidates make would be subject to rebuttal by their opponents.
This must be exactly what the congressman fears - that when voters hear both his views and Shober's together, and have the opportunity to listen to how well each candidate explains and defends those views, he will suffer in the comparison.
Political debates are not perfect, but if you think campaigns ought to be opportunities for weighing contrasting ideas and philosophies, debates are the best means we have at our disposal. LoBiondo's refusal to participate deprives voters of an opportunity to gain valuable perspective on his candidacy and his record.
Obama is failing
to defend the U.S.
The president is commander in chief of our military, responsible for our safety. But on Sept. 11 this year, President Barack Obama failed us. He did not provide Americans serving abroad adequate protection from Muslim extremists and others who want to destroy us. In Libya, the result was four Americans killed. Publicly praising these heroes and promising to punish their killers does not exonerate Obama. His bad judgment condemned four more families to the nightmare that began Sept. 11, 2001.
Today, we are all under a death threat because Obama does not know how to protect America. In 2009, he changed a program started by President George W. Bush designed to protect us from long-range missiles. Obama announced that he had a "stronger, smarter and swifter" strategy that focused on defending Europe from short-range, Iranian missiles. But a panel of top military and science experts from the National Research Council has released a report saying that this change leaves "the United States vulnerable to certain kinds of long-range strikes." These are the missiles the panel believes Iran could develop and use against America. Obama's refusal to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons could mean cataclysmic strikes on American soil.
Obama deals with the world as though it exists according to his vision of it. By not dealing with reality, he has damaged our national security, the economic well-being of current and future generations of Americans, and the rights and freedoms of American citizens. His second term would end America as we love it.
Only the Democrats
stand for all of us
When a woman becomes president of the United States, she will be a Democrat. The same can be said for when a Latino, Native American or gay person becomes president. I know this because, while the Republican Party gives us women of the caliber of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann (and only occasionally of the caliber of Margaret Chase Smith and Sandra Day O'Connor), it is the Democratic Party that regularly gives us women of the caliber of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Shirley Chisholm. It is the Democratic Party that recognizes, has confidence in, promotes and celebrates the diversity that is the strength of the United States of America.
The Democratic Party is the party that values and seeks to protect the working people; the average, special and extraordinary people; the people who need and seek to better their lives through educational institutions; the people who worship in a variety of ways; the people who commit their lives to public service in military and civilian paths; the immigrants we all are (except for Native Americans); and the downtrodden, despised and discriminated against because of their national origin, race, religion, gender and/or sexual orientation.
So, again this year, I will vote for President Barack Obama. Although I believe in a vigorous two-party system, I am confident it is Democrats who will continue to lead us to a better life, because they seek to preserve, protect and defend those values of inclusiveness and diversity that have made this country great.
KAREN L. BOSLEY
Long Beach Township