It’s No Surprise Ed Koch Is Supporting President Bush

Ben Greenblatt

To the Editors:

I am taking the liberty of writing, not as a student, or even an alumnus, but simply as an interested person. I read your paper religiously, because my grandson is a student and also a member of your staff.

I was interested in and concerned about Kevin Glass’ commentary on the Ed Koch lecture (9/17/04). His thesis is that one ought to defer and offer “respect” to their “elders?”

I am a contemporary of Mayor Koch and know him to be no stranger to either confrontation or controversy. I am not surprised that he is now endorsing President Bush for a second term, because of his (Koch’s) personal agenda.

If those who disagreed with him meant to have him change his position, they were naive. If they thought they could outsmart him, they were equally naive. People who have spent their lives in politics are typically great debaters and experts at putting down hecklers. Those who disagree should be using reasoned arguments; not because of “respect,” but because the purpose should be to convince the undecided in the audience. To think that they can persuade someone like Koch to change his mind is silly.

Although I am not privy to his position, I suspect that there were two principal reasons for his switch: the issue of who could best deal with terrorism and support for Israel.

If I’m correct, then I would questioned him about: our abandonment of Afghanistan; Bush’s willingness to use the appropriated money to fight terror in New York City, which suffered the greatest loss in 9/11; and the realpolitic, which means any U.S. President will have to support Israel, because it’s the only democracy in the Middle East.

Ben Greenblatt