Campaign reform starts with everyday people
Regarding "Money in politics: a new route" (March 22): Instead of reducing the influence of money in politics and bringing people back into the picture, the proposed campaign-finance-reform legislation legitimizes and institutionalizes the domination of politics by the mixture of money and media that politics has become.
If the American people want a body politic of, for, and by people, rather than monied special interests, they will have to work for it themselves. If people don't begin volunteering time to political parties and/or campaigns, money necessarily dominates. Do we want a democratic system still a light to the world destroyed by apathy, laziness, and indifference?
Political reform is up to us. We either force "the system" to respond to us by our presence as political actors rather than spectators or "our" politics will not be ours, and it will continue to be an increasingly undemocratic money game dominated by the so-called "political class."
Merrimac, Mass.Business Advisory Council
Campaign Reform Project
Regarding "More Aid, More Democracy" (March 21, Opinion): David W. Yang makes the case for democracy as the most effective institutional framework for supporting financial aid given to developing countries. I completely agree with him. Democracy is the only human experiment in which freedom is pursuable and in which mechanisms to ensure that fundamental rights are not violated can be created.
Mr. Yang has done a great deal of work in ensuring that the US administration sets the promotion of democracy as one of its pillars in international relations. Now the time has come to make it a decisive factor in international affairs both at a bilateral and at a multilateral level. Grants, funds, and loans that go to "tyrannies" serve only the purpose of the rulers and will never reach those individuals in dire need of concrete assistance, the first of which is their need for a free and peaceful life.
Teaching ethics in politics
Regarding "Politically Correct" (March 5, Learning): It's impressive that John Klemanski is teaching ethics as an important part of his college-level class on political campaigns. Our politicians and our political system are key starting points for our country's much- needed ethical decency to be growing.
I loved the way Mr. Klemanski questioned his students on why, once they became politicians, they would think to do dirty tricks when it's what they now hate as voters. And I loved that he pointed out that "Politics doesn't have to be a dirty business." Our system would be much more effective if we worked in a more straightforward and honest fashion. I was uplifted by this article and am encouraged by the teachers as well as political leaders who are like John Klemanski.
Regarding "Baby steps of change for an age-old genre" (March 20, Homefront): I found it interesting that the women artists and writers in this article felt their talents had waned after becoming mothers and they found it difficult to regain them later.
I discovered a whole new view of life and creativity once I became a mother. Granted, I don't have the large blocks of time for myself the way that I used to, but it hasn't stopped me in my writing career a career that actually didn't take-off until after my sons were born. In fact, a majority of my published essays have been inspired by, and revolved around, them and my husband.
Lorna E. Scherff
North Tustin, Calif.
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