Letters to the editor
Globe Magazine readers respond to stories about the Republican/Democrat divide, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and whether Lance Armstrong is a hero or a villain.
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THE GREAT DIVIDE
I enjoyed Steve Almond’s essay, “Our Separate Ways” (Connections, November 4). Mine is perhaps an inverse of Almond’s situation, where most of my friends are Republicans and/or conservative but I, also a Republican, feel out of place among them. Seems the only place in the party these days is for hard-liners, particularly on the social-issues front. I get my Republicanism from Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the classic fiscal conservative/social progressives of days apparently gone by. I’ve attended the last two Massachusetts Republican conventions and could not help but feel I was among Southern Democrats/Confederates. Ronald Reagan said about his leaving the Democratic Party that to him it felt as though the party left him. I can’t help but feel that the Republican Party is leaving not only me but also itself. I’ll not become a Democrat, but I’ll be casting off party affiliation. The founders preferred that anyway.
James Smith / Franklin
In light of this very heated, very long, sometimes very negative campaign season, it was refreshing to read something about honest self-reflection. I applaud Almond for recognizing the fact that social media and single-sided media outlets oftentimes inflame a general disdain for those on “the other side.’’ Instead of broadening our minds, we have more outlets that support our (sometimes misguided?) beliefs, thus ultimately narrowing our simple minds. I do not think that we have progressed as a people within the age of information; rather, we have regressed and turned into biased bigots, pitting one against the other with our over-hyped misinformation from both sides. For the sake of our country, and more immediately for the sake of our children, we must be willing to listen — really listen — to all sides. Be your own person. Forget labels. Follow your own convictions. Keep your minds open. Be proud of what you stand for. Be courteous and respectful of others’ opinions. Stand tall. Do the right thing. Period. You might find a new friend along the way.
Kitty Pinch / Hingham
What a wonderfully insightful article on the “political divide’’ that has really burst its seams in the past few years. I thank Almond for writing about it. Keep up the good work.
Nancy K. Fox / Pepperell
Almond’s example of the “grandma” who believes Barack Obama is a “black Muslim” is ageism. Most older women are not stupid and most of us even know how to use computers. As an aside, I’m not sure I agree with Almond’s thinking. “The aisle that divides” did away with slavery and Jim Crow laws and gave women the vote and other advances.
Ann Bardin / Merrimack, New Hampshire
Thanks for a great article. I live in New Hampshire, where no one ever talks politics anymore. I teach in a public school, but even there the staff is divided and no mention is made of the election. How sad is this? It’s true that only when we’re with like-minded people do we talk politics. We need to fix this!
Joan Fuller / Hollis, New Hampshire
Kudos to the Globe Magazine for highlighting the problem of hunger in the Boston area (“From Farm to Everyone’s Table,” November 4). Dedicated efforts by people like Catherine D’Amato and the 20,000 volunteers at more than 550 food pantries, meal programs, and shelters are making a real difference in people’s lives. The Greater Boston Food Bank would be the first to say it cannot solve the food insecurity problem on its own. In order to make lasting progress in ending hunger, the business community must step up and offer its resources. For example, Walmart has donated refrigerated trucks, food, time, and money to make it possible for the Food Bank to collect and distribute frozen and perishable food. It’s part of Walmart’s $2 billion commitment to fight hunger in America. With 45 percent of people in Eastern Massachusetts in need of food aid and winter on the way, now is the time to mobilize community partners to stand together against hunger.
Chris Buchanan / Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Walmart Plymouth
Good article on the Greater Boston Food Bank. In case Scott Helman pens a sequel, he should consider writing about Boston Area Gleaners — we send volunteer crews to outlying farms to harvest unmarketed produce. Today we’re scheduled to harvest beets and bok choy at the Food Project’s farm in Lincoln. We deliver most of our gleaned produce to Food for Free in Cambridge, which in turn delivers to more than 60 meal programs and food pantries. Continued...