Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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More voters’ views on Iraq

Sun Expanded Coverage

(The Sun has gone on the road to listen to voters and talk to political leaders around the West. Reporters will examine the economic, cultural and demographic forces re-shaping the region as they drive to Denver for the first of the two major party conventions the Sun will cover.)

FORT COLLINS -- Sorry for the light posting today, but we've been busy learning about algae (there's a lot of it, and it can make fuel), seeing what happens to a smoothie made from ice cream and juice concentrate when it sits in a hot minivan (it separates and looks evil), and suffering the effects of altitude sickness (I'd only smoked a half pack and it felt like I'd smoked the whole thing.)

So today's content on WTW:

A piece on how the politics of the war have become more complicated this cycle than in the past two cycles. We talked to 20 voters in Albuquerque and tried to make sense of what they said.

The Las Vegas Gleaner reacts to the piece with wit, drollery and backhanded compliment.

Leila's great portrait series with audio captions. (The cool kids around the Sun are calling these Foodios, for photos with audios. The really cool kids are calling them Phudios.)

We're on platform-agnostic, as someone once called Ralston.

I think our story, and the photos too, on two Iraq War vets with totally opposite perceptions of the war is a nice indicator of how polarized and polarizing the debate is. Both figures are wildly charismatic.

One has to be wrong, or at least more wrong than right. Our thinking on this piece was, they stood in such perfect opposition, that we let them debate each other in print. At the Sun, as many of you know, we believe in connecting dots for readers, ferreting out truth and saying it, rather than just hoping for some false and falsity-laden balance. With this piece though, getting out of the way made sense.

No matter your viewpoint of the war, you will be pleased by, and outraged by, aspects of what was said.

Now, about the voters in Albuquerque I mentioned.

Some didn’t make in the story.

Here are some of their views:

Dr. Bill Wolfe is a classic 60s liberal voting for Obama. He called the war “unauthorized, immoral and illegal and based on lies and deceit. I think John McCain has no idea. He’s a political pawn. We’ve lost our basic values.”

The new values in America, he said: “Attainment of assets and how good you look doing it.”

If Obama loses, he’ll consider re-locating.

Paul Clarkson, asked who he’s voting for: “How many Republicans are running.”

However many are running, he’s voting for all of them.

Most important issue: Economy, with national security close. Didn’t hear much from the Democratic side on the recent Georgia/Russia conflict. He found it troubling that Obama wasn’t out front. (Some foreign policy analysts, including the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, believe McCain is a loose cannon.)

Karen Garcia. She and her whole extended family are conservative, Christian Republicans. She’ll vote for McCain: “I think he’s a Christian. He’s against abortion, against gay marriage.” She saw the Rick Warren debate. “He’s a strong leader with a history of strong leadership.”

As for the war, “We have to trust our leaders.”

(Yeah, it was a “Wow” moment for me, too.)

Fred Sherman said he was in the 82nd Airborne during the first Gulf War. McCain, he said, has the experience to finish the job.

Check back during the weekend. Posts will be a little light, as we try to take tomorrow afternoon off, but I’ll be sharing thoughts and good links a couple times a day between now and Monday a.m.

Plus, Sunday, we have a big story about what other western states are doing to create more vibrant, diverse and sustainable economies and whether Nevada is on track to do the same. (Hint, probably not.)

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