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Conservative? Yes; Compassionate? That is the question



Published: Sat, January 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



EDITOR:

Over the past several months your desk has probably been covered with letters denouncing George Bush and the Republican Party. I have recovered from my disappointment and no longer wear my black armband. If a way could be found to express my opinions without sounding like a "George Basher" I would use that format. Negativity gains us nothing. I decided the best way to deal with my dilemma would be to state the facts, at least as I understand them and allow everyone to draw his or her own conclusions.

The Republican Party has presented Mr. Bush as a "compassionate conservative," a man that cares deeply about all Americans rich or poor. I do believe the President showed his compassion to the victims, the families and all Americans after the 9/11 tragedy. I believe he tried to bring our country together and I think he succeeded.

However:

Governor Bush allowed 153 executions during his six years as governor of Texas, the most of any governor in our history. Not much compassion here.

President Bush has shown complete disregard for the human rights of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi prisoners. Some have been held for years without due process. Even suspected Nazi war criminals were given due process. Not much compassion here.

His tax cuts gave the richest Americans more take home money which will be invested to make more money not to pay taxes on, while his new budget slashes or eliminates social programs at a time when the number of homeless and people living in poverty is rising. Not much compassion here.

Over $40 million was spent to celebrate his inauguration, while millions of people in the third world are starving. Not much compassion here.

Millions of Americans will donate millions of dollars to tsunami victims. The president, representing the richest country on the planet and days after the disaster, pledged $25 million. I know wanted to wait until he had a better picture of the damages. The White House should get CNN. Not much compassion here.

Of the 19 terrorists responsible for the deaths of over 3,000 Americans, 11 were Saudis, none were Iraqis. We have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq and have killed or wounded tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. The exact number is unknown; for some reason the military does not keep track of civilian casualties. I thought right to life advocates held human life sacred. No compassion here.

These are the facts as I see them. Draw your own conclusions.

HANK ZIMMERMAN

Poland




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