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The Times Herald-Record (New York)

Readers Find Common Ground in Shared Despair

Beth Quinn

I discovered something both wonderful and sad this past week.

The wonderful part is that I heard from scores of readers who share my stunned disbelief that Americans haven't staged a rebellion against President Bush.

The sad part is that most of them feel isolated in their despair over America's lethargy. And for those who want to be heard, there is no leader, no rallying point, no place to say we want our country back.

But they should know they aren't alone. That's why I'm using this space today to let you hear each other.

The following are excerpts from my calls and e-mails this past week:

  • I'm part of the generation that said no to Vietnam. Where are today's college students? Why aren't there demonstrations on campus? - Joan, Middletown
  • I watch every presidential debate but rarely have anyone to talk with about it because most watched "American Idol" or "Heroes" instead. - Ray, Salisbury Mills
  • I'm both stunned and exhausted by how little our government cares about what Americans want and need. My health problems don't permit me to go to demonstrations. My letters to the editor are ignored. I'm frightened by what is happening to my country and I don't know where to turn. - Linda S.
  • I have been asking the same question - where is the outrage? Why aren't we in the streets marching - to end the war, for universal health coverage, for our basic rights? - JoAnne O.
  • God bless anyone concerned about the middle class. We are being pulverized by this administration but many among us don't know it. - Greg, Poughkeepsie
  • I'm stunned by the morons who don't get it. I sing along with you against that criminal in the White House, you just can't hear me. - Ann, Ulster County
  • It's nonsense to offer respect to that arch-criminal simply because he's the president. He was never elected to that office in the first place. - Barbara, Pine Bush
  • I have filed a criminal complaint against George Bush in federal court. He should be in jail for his crimes against this country. - Steve, New Windsor
  • This country is finished. And those who inexplicably support Bush are the ones who will be stunned when they finally understand the damage he's done. - John T.
  • The right wingers who rule by fear have so intimidated the people of our country that they have willingly abandoned their rights. - Mary, New Paltz
  • The American voter has become a complacent sheep, lulled toward the final slaughter by a masterful bunch of self-righteous thugs who hide behind morality and the American way. - Frank, Walden
  • Liberty requires diligence and intelligence as well as sacrifice. Instead, we have most Americans now acting like brain-dead fascists. It's a sad and dark time in this once great nation. - J.S.
  • The American people want security at any price and damn the rights of the individual or the lives of non-Americans. - Gary
  • I was at the march for peace two Septembers ago when more than 300,000 people protested at the White House. It didn't even make it into the Record until page 23. Rest assured, we have the numbers. We just need the coverage. - Jan B.

To read more, go to You can also find commentary from around the country at - just scroll down to my column. You'll take heart at the vast network of thinking people who feel as you do.

Read more comments here

There are 414 days 'til Jan. 20, 2009. They should not merely be endured.

Beth's column appears on Monday. Email at

Copyright 2007 The Times Herald-Record

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