Letters to the editor

Boston Globe Magazine readers respond to stories on Mitt Romney’s loss and on survivors of the Bataan Death March.


I applaud Neil Swidey’s Perspective (November 11) on Mitt Romney’s loss. As I entered the polling booth, I half considered writing in the name of Mitt’s father. As a political buff, I’d gone back and read Teddy White’s The Making of the President 1968, referencing George W. Romney’s failed campaign for the presidency. White observed that “the first quality that surfaced, as one met and talked with George Romney over a number of years, was a sincerity so profound that, in conversation, one was almost embarrassed.” George Romney’s campaign collapsed because he was driven by blunt talk and moral precepts. But instead of him, we got snake-oil salesman Richard Nixon in the White House. Young Mitt learned his lesson too well: better a snake oil salesman and president than a failed, principled man for all seasons. In the end, Mitt was neither: just Mr. Etch A Sketch.

Michael Kalafatas / Wayland


In the insightful “Why Romney Lost,” Swidey implied that one of the reasons is that “many Americans still have no idea who he actually is.’’ I think Swidey might have this backward: Romney may have lost because we knew exactly who he is.

Kenneth Portnoy / Marblehead

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Romney lost because there are not enough rich old straight white men left in America to win a national election. This guy with the “logic-driven operating system’’ did not bother to look at or analyze the data that were staring him and everyone else in the face.

Ned Daly / Needham

 For 30 years at least, Americans have been told that trickle-down economics will lift their boats. It has not worked. Romney is a symbol of this unsustainable path. To say today that if we only cut taxes here and there, the economy will boom again is similar to diehard socialists saying the Soviet Union could be an economic success except for ideological deviations of some members of the Politburo.


Mirek Fatyga / Phoenix



Bernard Pothier’s story of surviving the Bataan Death March, as told by his nephew Mark Pothier (Connections, November 11), brought tears to my eyes. How could we humans be so horrible to one another? And how could others somehow endure it all and yet bounce back? My wife remarked at how amazing it is that this man returned to live out a “normal life.’’ As I pondered that, I realized how much our entire country was involved in the war, even those back home who read the headlines, watched the newsreels, worked in the factories, and sacrificed through the rationing of even the most ordinary things. When Bernard returned home, he had plenty of company, a sense of “we were all in this together.’’ What a contrast to today, where we have been encouraged to “keep shopping’’ to help the economy while others have endured battlefield horrors far away. I do not long for another world war. What I do long for is a better way for all of us to say to those who return (and to the families of those who don’t), “We are with you, we will help you.’’

Glenn Koenig / Arlington 

The story of my father, Lieutenant Theodore Bronk, was nearly identical to Bernard Pothier’s. He, too, returned from captivity to continue the life he started before the war. He married the girl he had been dating (my mother), resumed his civilian medical career (he had been a medical resident before volunteering), and raised a family. He was very proud of his service — he told me he felt grateful to the country to which he had immigrated at age 10.

Peter Bronk / Newton

My father was also part of the death march. He also volunteered for burial duty at the camps. Being Catholic, he always said a prayer over each body. My dad died in 2009; he would have been 95. I called my mom and read her your story. She asked me to thank you for keeping this part of history alive. Tell Bernard Pothier hello and thanks from Hank Wilayto’s family.

Meg Gallagher / Shutesbury

COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.

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