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Democratic Assembly Candidate is Very Much in the Mainstream

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I was puzzled by the letter to the editor characterizing Assembly candidate Kathleen Valetta as a “radical ideologue” because she supports reproductive rights and universal healthcare (“Assembly Hopeful Would Be Wrong for New York,” August 1-7).

First a definition of terms: According to Merriam Webster, radical is “very different from the usual or traditional” and “advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs”; ideologue is “an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.” Generally, a radical ideologue is one who differs from the majority view.

At least two recent polls indicate that most Americans support reproductive rights: a poll conducted by CNN in May found that 66 percent of Americans said they did not want the high court to overturn the Roe decision. Only 17 percent of those questioned in the CNN poll said they’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, with 12 percent saying they’d be “satisfied,” 21 percent saying they’d be “dissatisfied,” 36 percent saying they’d be “angry” and 14 percent saying they would not care.

Other data offers a similar window into how Americans perceive this issue, with a Gallup poll conducted in May showing that 58 percent of American voters thought Roe should not be overturned. Data from the Pew Research Center has found that just 8 percent of U.S. adults believe abortion should be outlawed in all cases. Locally, a community weekly newspaper showed a similar trend with 60 percent of those answering survey questions disapproving of the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Given these findings and the above definitions it is the letter writer and the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court who are woefully out of touch with most Americans; hence, they are radical ideologues as they wish to impose their morals on others and take away women’s control over their own bodies.

I do thank the letter writer for reminding those who are disillusioned and demoralized that there are important elections this year, which may fundamentally threaten our democracy and individual rights. Elections for statewide office must be more than personal popularity contests. I certainly hope that the Assembly candidates for Yorktown and Putnam, including Matthew Slater, transparently reveal where they stand on the critical issues of reproductive rights, marriage equality, gun control, healthcare reform, voting reform and immigrants’ rights.

Vote your beliefs while you still can!

Melvyn R. Tanzman
Mohegan Lake

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