Letters and Comments for May 1, 2009
Sebestyen, Kenny, Morgan
Vote Sprenger for school board
To the Editor:
“I want to be the kind of board member I wish we had when I was teaching.”
Those few words from John Sprenger spoke volumes of meanings when he said them. In the time we worked with John at La Grande High School we came to see the importance he placed on academic freedom in the classroom.
In his law class, he taught many controversial topics that required a level of openness and frankness with his students that motivated them and piqued their curiosity. John focused on students and supported them in not only the classroom but in activities such as FBLA and athletics. We still remember the red-checked shirt that read: “Tigers Eat Their Lunch” he wore every game day. Finally, John was a very active member of the La Grande Education Association participating in negotiations and serving in leadership positions. Often he would be the one to analyze the district’s budgets for us at the time of negotiations.
We support John’s run for the La Grande School Board. We believe he will be the kind of board member he wished he had.
To the Editor:
It’s great to see people embracing protest as a means to question the actions of their political leaders. Dissent is a core democratic principle. And I will be the first to speak out, regardless of our government’s party affiliation. But I do have one very nagging question for the Tea Party participants:
Where have you been for the past eight years?
Our national debt almost doubled under the previous administration (from $5.6 trillion in 2000, to $10.7 trillion when Obama took office). According to all reliable, non-partisan sources, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, reckless and unchecked government spending and condoned anarchy on Wall Street have largely been responsible for the current financial crisis. Why were there no Tea Parties to protest to this reckless leadership?
Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty to protest now.
We need accountability on Wall Street and in Washington. We need to get the money out of politics (one man’s lobbying is another man’s bribery). We need fairness and responsibility in our tax code and corporate compensation structure. Disparity in wealth is growing. The middle class is disappearing. Our public schools are crumbling. There are many crucial issues that the overwhelming majority of Americans agree upon. However, they will never be resolved as long as we continue to bicker along party lines.
Given the unprecedented, monumental challenges this country is facing, it is imperative that we put partisan politics aside and work together to find solutions. We need to think and act as Americans, not as players of opposing teams.
I am optimistic that a new generation of conservatives will arise from the ashes and bring fresh, new ideas to the table. There is plenty of room for common ground. There’s simply too much at stake to let political jockeying interfere with our obligation to our children, and our country.