Readers Write

Monitor readers comment on the election

By , Karl Phillips, Sacha A. Boegem, Tom Pierpont, Joseph Makholm, Paul L. Whiteley Sr., Kate Black, and Lyne Buckley-Quirk

It is difficult to explain the feelings I had when I opened my Nov. 9 Monitor. I was expecting to find an attitude of healing, a blessing - a headline that promised progress, not the inflammatory headline "An America divided." Usually the paper supports solutions. This headline implied unsolvable problems. The vote is divided, not the people.

My voting experience on Tuesday illustrated exactly the opposite of the media hype that would pit one individual against another. Standing in line for an hour and 45 minutes, I got to know my fellow voters rather well, and we exchanged ideas from very different points of view. We finally got to the voting booths, shook hands, and went off to cast our votes.

Jane Martin Boston

Recommended: Gore Vidal: 10 quotes from the legendary author

Your Nov. 9 headline "An America divided" does not instill optimism. It begs political warfare. Wouldn't it have been better to say "An America in balance"?

The present election situation is treacherous for two reasons. First, Al Gore picked Bill Daley to head his presidential campaign. Some think Mr. Daley's father, Richard, helped to steal the 1960 presidential election for John F. Kennedy. Will his son follow in these footsteps?

Second, Mr. Gore has repeatedly said that the US Constitution should be regarded as a "living document." That means he can read new things into it that suit his political cause and ignore the clauses in it that are inconvenient. Gore's advisers should tell him to concede now, with his party's dignity still intact.

Karl Phillips Oxford, Ohio

The behavior of the Bush campaign and its Republican allies throughout this process has been extremely dishonest and hypocritical. If we don't stand up for the principle that every citizen should have his or her vote counted, how can we call ourselves a democracy? But the latest example of Republican hypocrisy is truly stunning. It came when the Bush campaign went to a federal court to try to stop local election authorities from proceeding with a manual recount.

This, after attacking the Gore campaign relentlessly for days over the possibility that the Democrats might seek a legal remedy for the disenfranchised citizens in Palm Beach, Florida. The suggestion that a machine count is more accurate than a hand count is ironic, since George W. Bush himself recently signed a law in Texas approving manual recounts in disputed ballot situations!

Sacha A. Boegem Las Vegas

The classical Greek political philosopher Demosthenes said, "It is not possible to found a lasting power upon injustice, perjury and treachery." This seems self-evident today.

Gov. George W. Bush has told us all that he genuinely believes he won the election. Fine, then wouldn't his case only be edified by a victory in a re-vote? Surely, Bush supporters wouldn't change their votes, so why is his campaign staff obfuscating and resisting one so much?

Tom Pierpont Naples, Fla.

Many pundits and politicians are saying that the candidates have a responsibility to the nation to resolve the electoral impasse as quickly as possible. What about the candidates' responsibility to their constituents, their voters? What about the responsibility to see to it that the voices of these people are heard? The candidate who cuts off the process too soon betrays the trust of his voters.

Joseph Makholm Paris

Why do we spend millions and millions of dollars on political campaigns, but refuse to invest in a voter-friendly universal ballot and modern, standard voting machines? Spending money to implement a modern, universal system of voting nationwide is more important than wasting billions of dollars on an unworkable missile defense system.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr. Louisville, Ky.

Regarding your editorial "Trigger-happy election calls" (Nov.10): The press can't restrain from wanting to insert itself into a story and making it come out the way it wants.

An even larger, related problem is press bias. Ever since I can remember (the 1950s), the press has had a distinct pro-liberal bias. For a long time, the press staunchly denied this fact and made a pretense of being objective. However, after the Democrats lost their 40-year grip on Congress in 1994, the press took off the gloves and became more partisan than ever. Journalists are too preoccupied with giving us their opinions instead of the facts. This situation and the premature prediction of election results are corrosive to the nation.

Kate Black Phoenix

As I placed my ballot Tuesday, I experienced an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the right and privilege to have a role in the democratic government of the United States of America. (I would like to think I have never taken this for granted, but the feeling Tuesday was profound.)

The last paragraph of your Nov. 9 editorial "Divided we stand" explains it all: "The next president has his work cut out for him. He should remember that these United States thrive on diversity and grow in adversity, but unite in a system that keeps both of those in check."

Lynne Buckley-Quirk St. Louis

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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