As a liberal, I sympathize with the frustrations felt by many liberals in the WNC area at some of the conservative stances taken by our Democratic congressman, Heath Shuler. However, I’m not sure what letter writer Ben Smith hopes to accomplish when he urges liberals and like-minded progressives to vote for neither Shuler nor Mumpower in this November’s congressional election [“Don’t Vote for Shuler or Mumpower,” July 9].
Since these are the only two options on the ballot, Smith is basically encouraging progressives not to vote at all, which is exactly the kind of apathy that the reactionary forces in this country feed on. Despite their shared anti-immigrant rhetoric, there are clear differences between Shuler and Mumpower. No doubt Shuler is a social conservative, but he is nonetheless far, far more progressive on a host of environmental and economic issues than Carl Mumpower.
So if you consider yourself in any way liberal or progressive, Shuler is far closer to you on the range of issues; therefore you do have a clear choice on the ballot this November.
The time for liberals to challenge Shuler was in the Democratic primary several months ago, and since none of them did, Shuler is the best we’ve got right now. Sitting out the election would only give Carl Mumpower a better chance of taking the seat back for the Republicans.
— Bert Clere