All right! I’ve had it already! It’s barely the beginning of Ned’s campaign and already I’m up to here with the idiotic nonsense, drivel, innuendos and even outright vindictive lies that are saturating the radical right wing blogs! Red diaper Baby with a Silver Spoon! Indeed! They almost constitute a case study in illogic. What do we have here? The Karl Rove dirty tricks department out in full force to undermine a challenger to Bush’s war?

There are a few things that Ned’s critics better get right. Ned Lamont is his own man. He is neither his Great Grandfather, Thomas W. Lamont, a partner of J.P. Morgan, (as described in the book: An Ambassador from Wall Street), nor his Great Uncle, Corliss Lamont, Champion of Civil Liberties, a Democratic Socialist, and author of The Philosophy of Humanism and Freedom is As Freedom Does.

Campaigning in Connecticut.It would seem that the Great Grandfather and the Great Uncle might have been exactly polar opposites in their thinking. Can Ned be blamed and suspected for both points of view? His critics should make up their minds! For which of the many ideas of his relatives are they faulting him? One was a highly successful, liberal, Wall Street Banker; the other, an American Patriot who was falsely accused of being un-American by Senator Joseph McCarthy. One worked within the bounds of respectability; the other, a severe critic of those boundaries. Ned’s Grandfather, Thomas Stillwell Lamont, Brother of Corliss, who followed his Father to Wall Street, was embarrassed by Corliss’ radical views. He took his Brother to task, saying that he was a traitor to his class and that he was bringing shame upon the Family.

And little wonder! Corliss Lamont was scathing in his criticism. He was challenging the totally mistaken concept that we peddle at home and abroad. Capitalism and Democracy are not, repeat, NOT synonymous! One is an economic system; the other a political system. In fact, they might not even be compatible, as He was witnessing union-busting, slimy war-profiteering, conscienceless exploitation of vulnerable and minority persons, and blatant, sinister violations of the Bill of Rights.

So which of these philosophies should Ned be faulted for? You’ve got it! The right answer: NEITHER!

As for the Great Grandfather and the Great Uncle, they actually agreed on many liberal issues, among which were education and philanthropy. Incidentally, they, both father and son, spoke on the same Madison Square Garden platform in 1942, at a meeting of the National Council for American Soviet Friendship, in behalf of U.S. Aid to the Soviets. The menacing specter of Socialist idealism seemed to frighten neither of these two Gentlemen, not even the danger to Wall Street of the radical Socialist concept of sharing the wealth with the workers!

I repeat, Ned Lamont is neither of these historic figures; he shares their genes, but he is a man of his own times and of his own experiences, with his own perspectives. He certainly must not be held accountable for potential extremes that lurk only in the perceptions of his critics. Ned Lamont is his own man. He is not responsible for previous generations. Nor is Joe Lieberman, for that matter; each of these men is responsible for his own actions and decisions, based on his own concept of public service, patriotism and especially of ethical behavior.

Ned Lamont sees the so-called war on terrorism as counter-productive to the safety of the American public, and as a destabilizing element to the world in general. Joe Lieberman no doubt acted out of patriotism when he voted to give President Bush the power to launch what Bush surely knew was an illegal, immoral war. The bombing of civilians, whatever the pretext, by whatever country, constitutes state terrorism. These acts violate Human Rights norms and are culpable by the International Criminal Court as war crimes. If the U.S. had no intention of violating Human Rights norms, it need not have bothered to coerce 84 nations into promising to not allow extradition to the ICC of U.S. personnel if they were charged with war crimes.

Acts of terror by individuals or organizations are reprehensible. They must be dealt with on an individual basis. Most of the World Trade Terrorist hijackers were Saudis; by what twisted and distorted illogic did this heinous act perpetrated upon American citizens translate into “shock and awe” revenge against Afghan and Iraqi citizens? Terrorists are hiding among them? Not valid! Though we grieve for Israeli victims of violence, now should this same illogic justify the vengeful murderous bombing of Palestinian and Lebanese citizens? Not on your life! Not on the lives of thousands of innocent victims!

War-mongers in Washington, in cahoots with the mercenary sellers of fear and hatred and armaments, have created a backlash that has caused the American public to be more vulnerable now, at this moment, than they were in September of 2001. The U.S., with its totally over-zealous, poorly conceived, but previously planned, vengeful attacks, not on individual suspected terrorists, like Osama bin Forgotten, but instead, perpetrated on sovereign nations, without provocation, has earned this country disrespect by the rest of the world. Sad to say, because most Americans still like to believe that we are the “good guys in the white cowboy hats who come to the rescue.” Vengeance will be heaped upon us for generations.

Ned may not have mentioned support of the United Nations yet, but an endorsement is certainly in order.

It is working within this International framework that world peace will come. The U.S. has had the notion that rather than being just one member of the human family, it should dominate. Adolescent arrogance develops into mature wisdom, sometimes with sad experience. The whole world will benefit from wise and ethical leadership that champions equality, justice, the rule of law, and respect for the dignity and Human Rights of all Peoples of Earth. With the strengthening of the potential of the United Nations, building its capacity to intervene and protect the innocent from the scourge of war; to intercede to prevent nuclear proliferation and other destructive military forces; and to provide humanitarian aide and support for peace and justice movements, and efforts toward building democratic institutions, we Earthlings of every nation will someday begin to realize the age old dream of living our lives in safety and Peace.

I would vote for Ned Lamont in a New York minute! Just wish he were running for the Senate in this state. Perhaps his courageous leadership will inspire our own Hillary Clinton to renounce Bush’s war as well.

Go for it, Ned! Hold steady and just stare down your ill-informed detractors, if they can’t be enlightened by your well-researched information. Go for it, Ned! I should live so long I can vote for you for President!

Sent with love from an admirer who was part of your Great Uncle’s world.

Beth K. Lamont