Regarding Daniel Schorr's Jan. 2 opinion piece "Pragmatic warning for Taiwan": The diplomatic stranglehold that China exerts on Taiwan is appalling, and turning a blind eye to the reality of the situation and slighting our own core values of freedom and democracy just to "be pragmatic" and appease China simply prolongs and worsens the situation.
The issue eats at the core foundation of our own country's values: Do we support democracy and our allies that share our core values, or do we prop up totalitarianism and aggression toward the weak in the interest of financial gain?
Mr. Schorr states that this may not go down well with President Bush's conservative base. I consider myself a liberal, and I find Bush's action here contrary to America's core foundation as a promoter of freedom and democracy.
The policy that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China is a policy that is not based on reality. It seems unacceptable that Taiwan, a country with its own defined borders, currency, multiparty democratic government, free press, and elected leader, is not permitted to have an embassy within the United States and that it is barred from international organizations such as the United Nations.
We should think differently about how we stand on the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty.
Now that Taiwan's democracy is reaching maturity, the US needs to nourish and support the achievements of the remarkable transition the island has made from a repressive dictatorship under the Chinese Nationalists of the Kuomintang to the flowering democracy under Chen Shui-bian. Mr. Chen is using a peaceful referendum to defend Taiwan against the missiles and aggression of China. Would it be too much for the US and Europe to stand by Taiwan?
Gerrit van der Wees
Regarding the Jan. 2 editorial "Getting Out the Singles Vote": I'm a 52-year-old registered Democrat who has voted in elections as long as I can remember. I have been active in local races, led fundraising campaigns, and coordinated other election activities. I also happen to be a divorced mother of three. If candidates truly want to attract single women voters, they need to understand the plight of the successful woman and the challenges she faces raising children while working full time.
As long as elected officials and candidates focus on the traditional couple, they are missing people like me who are clearly underrepresented and misrepresented.
Regarding the Jan. 2 article "Kucinich: fervently unconventional": It's about time someone came along to shake the Democratic Party out of its weak-kneed lethargy.
It's heartening to see the Monitor covering someone who is doing exactly that. As the article makes clear, Dennis Kucinich is not only capable of mobilizing progressive Democrats; this man can ignite enthusiasm in any voter fortunate enough to discover him.
Until recently, however, voters haven't had much of an opportunity to discover the real Dennis Kucinich. His name, when mentioned at all in news reports, was relegated to short paragraphs on final pages - almost an afterthought - amid words like "long-shot" or "unlikely." Gradually, that is changing. Why? Maybe it's because of his scrappiness as a campaigner. At any rate, Kucinich's campaign appears, finally, to be getting the attention it deserves.
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