Forum, July: In Defense of Hillary Clinton

Thursday, July 06, 2017
In Defense of Hillary Clinton

I was disturbed to read that columnist Willem Lange (“The Democrats Have Lost Their Bearings Along the Way,” July 5) joined the many disgruntled Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton “because the alternative was unthinkable.” At a recent social event here in Grantham, neighbors sat around a table lamenting the fact that “both candidates were flawed.”

I am not a historian or a politician, but am very interested in both American history and our political history. I read widely and have worked for every political candidate whose ideas I support. (Full disclosure: I am culturally deprived. I do not watch Fox News.) I believe that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified presidential candidate in my lifetime, more qualified than her husband and certainly more qualified than any of the candidates mentioned by Lange in his column, even Joe Kennedy, whom I admire.

Clinton has been maligned by some in letters to this newspaper for daring to try to explain her loss, and by others for “retreating into relative obscurity.” I write to praise her for her dignity, her intelligence, patriotism and gravitas. She is a class act.

Judy McCarthy


Truth Wasn’t Self-Evident Enough

Sad but true!

So sad that Twitter users did not recognize our own Declaration of Independence (“NPR’s Declaration of Independence Tweets Called ‘Propaganda,’ ” July 7).

The tradition of reading the Declaration dates back to the first Fourth and I am thankful to NPR for doing that reading every year. Thank you for printing this story that underlines the strong feelings people have in this day and time, plus many more good op-eds to keep us informed.

Susan Westbrook


Life, Liberty and Health Care

As we celebrated July Fourth: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In 1776, there was no need to mention medical care, since purging and bleeding were the mainstays of treatment back when life expectancy was 36 years. Modern health concepts and medical science have altered disease, alleviated suffering and extended life. So it is gratifying to see our nation coming to recognize the moral imperative of affordable health care.

However, we are hobbled by a 70-year legacy of “supposed free-market” and employer-based insurance concepts to the realm of health care. Medicare remains the most efficient (2-3 percent overhead) and popular form of American health insurance since 1965. But younger Americans increasingly became uninsured in the two decades before Obamacare, as fewer employees received benefits from lifelong employers, and health premiums for the self-insured became progressively unaffordable. Not long ago, 62 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcy was a consequence of medical expenses and 75 percent of Americans who incurred medical bankruptcy did so while “covered” by flimsy under-insurance that was “affordable” but worthless.

The introduction of multiple patchwork, tax-funded programs (Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, ACA, VA, tax credits, etc.) to this system has resulted in the most expensive and inefficient health care system in the world. Pharmaceutical and health lobbies support the pretense that free-market rules apply. In the effort to avoid any taint of “socialism,” we spend more tax money per capita than any other developed country, but rank dead last in “efficiency, equity and outcome.”

As we reflect on American values and our health care, it’s time to become educated on the advantages of substituting an expanded “Medicare for All” to our citizens, business and our nation. Please join us on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a panel discussion and information meeting on “Medicare for All” at Main Street BookEnds in Warner, N.H.

Kenneth Dolkart, M.D.


Vermont Must Allow Wind Power

I was encouraged to see that a Vermont legislative committee delayed until October adopting new rules for wind turbines in the state. Although there are many legitimate concerns individuals may have concerning large wind turbines on ridgelines near their homes and community, there are also many ways of addressing those concerns without making efficient wind power installation impractical or impossible in Vermont.

Near-100 percent carbon-free energy will be essential if we are to limit our planet’s temperature to levels conducive to life, and perhaps even to pre-industrial levels. And because both wind and solar power will be essential ingredients in this century’s carbon-free energy system, Vermont should be very careful to develop its guidelines in such a way as not to limit Vermont’s ridgeline wind potential.

Vermont’s wind energy potential belongs to all of us. And like our roads, wind power generated as part of our state’s carbon-free energy infrastructure will serve us all. And also like our roads and other infrastructure, restrictions to construct must not be allowed based on the interests of a few who may be affected. Rather, the entire state’s interest must be weighed.

Carbon-free energy system development, just as for roads or other public infrastructure, should include reimbursement costs to those adversely affected. A science-based effort to define reimbursable impacts should be an important part of any new legislation impacting carbon-free energy development.

Charles McKenna