Low Turnout and the 'Motor-Voter' Bill
Regarding the pro-con opinion-page articles "Should US Simplify Voter Registration?," Oct. 1: I tend to agree, in part, with both sides of the debate. However, easing registration does not really address the problem of low voter turnout at the polls.I cannot and do not believe, as opponents of the "motor-voter" bill suggest, that the voter is contented with the status quo in our society. There is simply too much that is wrong. Neither writer refers to the sense of national voter apathy due, in part, to the failure of our political system. I would suggest an alternative to the tongue-in-cheek suggestion of "coercion and bribery": Decrease the financial influence of political action committees so that the elected are answerable to voters on election day. Return government to the governed. David F. Schmidt, Arlington, Va.
How significant and depressing it is to realize that in order to get people to vote, this country has to pass a National Voter Registration Act, the "motor-voter" bill! As a former teacher, this sickens me. As a citizen of Los Angeles County, it amazes me. Here all you need to do to register is pick up a postage-free postcard in any post office, fill it out, and drop it in the mail. Proponents of the "motor-voter" bill are contributing to a perhaps dangerous neglect in this country today - that is a healthy interest and participation in political elections. Mary Meyer, Pasadena, Calif.
Environmental sexism Regarding the opinion-page column "Manliness and Mother Earth," Oct. 3: The author accurately links our warrior-like behavior with our utter lack of concern for our habitat and its ailments. But in remedying this situation, the author uses shockingly irresponsible language. We do indeed need to destroy the "manly" bias of our priorities, but are men alone capable of and responsible for solving our environmental challenges? Humanity has caused the mess, and must now clean up after itself. Our poor planet certainly needs a little kind stewardship from all humans, but we must move beyond the Biblical image of a steward as a "man" entrusted to take care of things, as well as our cultural notion of nurturing and healing being exclusively women's work. Bravo for addressing such an urgent issue, but shame for using irresponsible language that does a vast disservice to all the women who have worked and continue to work to save our threatened home. Gail L. Carlson, Madison, Wis.
Peace Corps experience, please Regarding the article "Peace Corps Enters the '90s Invited Into Eastern Europe," Oct. 1: With the resignation of Peace Corps Director Paul Coverdell, a new director - as usual a person with no Peace Corps experience - has been nominated by President Bush. The director needs international and government experience as well as an understanding of the nitty-gritty demands of the job volunteers are handling. A person who is a returned Peace Corps volunteer should have that position. For years I have followed the many political appointments of the many Peace Corps directors. Please may we start a new era as we meet the challenges of the '90s and make use of the many returned Peace Corps volunteers. Muriel K. Cooke, Hanover, N.H.