Outdoor News: Letter to the Editor

With only two weeks left before Election Day the political spin is certainly in full swing. Turn on the television and you can’t go 15 minutes without listening to a political commercial. The radio is much the same way. Even Outdoor News, a weekly regional tabloid I subscribe to, is filled with letters supporting both candidates for president. No doubt about it emotions are running high and misinformation is running rampant during the waning moments of the 2004 presidential campaign.

Today I’m gleaning a few comments from the recent Letters to the Editor section of Outdoor News (October 19) made by supporters of candidate John Kerry. As an ardent supporter of George W. Bush, it seems to me to be a big folly how some of the statements being made by professed sportsmen can even lend support to John Kerry and his liberal ideology.

The comments (Outdoor News, Vol.37 No. 42, October 19, 2004):

“I’m sick and tired of all you sportsmen who think you have to vote Republican ‘just because.’ If any of you fools really believe that John Kerry is going to infringe on our right to bear arms you should wake up and smell the coffee….” Ted Erhart, Ramsey, MN.

“…John Kerry, at least, has high ratings from conservation and environmental groups, and has posted on his web site a Sportsman’s Bill of Rights, at the top of which is gun ownership.

Bush is an election-year conservationist. His first three years were a disaster. He needs to be fired! Period!” Russ Thornell, Forest Lake.

Here is my response as it was submitted to the editor of Outdoor News:

Difficult Decisions

An election approaches that requires some difficult decisions, especially if you lean Democrat and profess to be a sportsman. No matter how much passion spins the facts, a Kerry/Edwards victory will eventually result in the erosion of sportsman’s rights.

Ted from Ramsey urges us to “wake up and smell the coffee” if we think John Kerry will infringe on our rights in any way. Well, Ted, I hate to tell you this buddy, but trying to infringe on our gun rights has been one of the few accomplishments Kerry has achieved during his illustrious 20-year senate career. Perhaps if you weren’t so hung up worrying about what the NRA tells its members you’d have more time to confirm the pathetic voting record of your favorite candidate.

A candidate’s past performance is a far better indicator than relying on his future promises. Promises can easily be broken and are often made for ulterior motives. Past performance, on the other hand, shows a tendency to act in a certain manner.

I was also curious how Russ from Forest Lake seemed to regurgitate most of the talking points found in Kerry’s “Sportsman’s Bill of Rights.” Oddly enough, Kerry’s promises seem to be reassuring sportsmen he would not do anything to effect the way we all like to hunt and fish…sort of like Bush has demonstrated to us during the past four years of his presidency. The choice for this election is rather simple; do you trust unproven promises or do you trust past performance?

Certainly my heart goes out to sportsmen who are being encouraged by their unions, the media, their friends and others to vote for John Kerry on November 2nd. Sometimes it’s tough to balance out each of your beliefs when there is no perfect candidate, no matter on which side of the political fence you stand.

So go ahead and vote for John Kerry…but don’t delude yourself, and especially others, into believing that the Kerry/Edwards ticket is the best choice for sportsmen and their interests. John Kerry’s dismal senatorial track record along with his lame promises for the future tends to indicate otherwise.

Why else would The Humane Society of the United States refer to John Kerry as one of their “heroes” of congress? Is it possible this ardent anti-sportsman’s group knows something about John Kerry that those who wear political blinders would rather we didn’t all see?

© 2004 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.