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Letters to the Editor June 23

June 22, 2016

Your vote can count on June 28

In these days of Citizens United and “pay-to-play” politics, when government seems to work only for those rich enough to buy it, many people don’t vote, thinking that their votes won’t matter, or because they don’t like any of the candidates. But not voting only multiplies the power of small special-interest groups that do, ensuring their candidates get elected, control legislative agendas and pass laws that favor their special interest to the detriment of everyone else. Choosing a candidate may require compromise, but failing to vote just hands your future over to people with whom you may totally disagree.

The essential ingredient of political power is the number of votes you command. Elections are decided by large voter turnouts. Only widespread public participation ensures that control of government remains with the true majority of the people, protecting their freedom, rights and quality of life. Big money and special interests can hijack the political process, but only if you let them.

In the June 28 Congressional primary, as in all elections, you have the opportunity to exercise real political power by researching the issues and voting for the person who best represents your interests. And if you still think that your vote won’t matter, look back at the 2015 Sullivan County Legislature election where many of the winners were determined by a handful of absentee ballots. To get the government you want, get out and vote.

Star D. Hesse
Narrowsburg, NY

Veterans struggle with addiction, too

The letter sent by Charles Petersheim doesn’t make any sense. Serving one’s country and dealing with addiction are not mutually exclusive. Guess how many people I know who developed alcoholism while in the military, who self medicated to deal with what they’d seen and done? It does not disrespect the military, or the sacrifices of our soldiers, to speak of an issue that impacts us all. Maybe if we talked about what drives us to addiction, we wouldn’t have such a high suicide rate among our veterans.

As usual Vera, I’m incredibly glad to know you and to get to read about your experiences. You are strong in ways you don’t even realize, and your perspective is important. You are opening discussions that absolutely need to be had and creating a safe dialog for those of us who have been taught to hide our mistakes. I’m incredibly proud of you.

Bridget Davis
Longwood, FL