What do 'security moms' really want?

Regarding the Sept. 23 article "Why women are edging toward Bush": My sense from the piece was that for many women, their nurturing instinct vis-à-vis their concern with the war on terrorism seems to be trumping other important reservations they may have about the current president.

For anyone concerned about terrorism in this country, I think there are two critical questions to ask. First, what is our most important defense against global terrorism? If you believe, as I do, that the answer is a united front by as many nations on this globe as possible, then the second question naturally follows: Is George W. Bush in a better position than John Kerry to command that united front?

If you believe that we can sustain the lion's share of the costs in blood and money over the long haul by waging simultaneous wars against terrorism in Afghanistan and in Iraq - and arguably against Iran and possibly North Korea soon, and if you believe this will keep you and your loved ones safer than a united world front, then I suppose Mr. Bush should be your man.
Dave Colavito
Rock Hill, N.Y.

I propose that women believe their children are more likely to be killed in a car accident, sports activity, or old-fashioned homicide than they are to be killed by a terrorist. As the war in Iraq becomes less tenable and other hot spots ignite, the risk of the draft for our middle-class and poor children is of greater concern than a terrorist attack.

Fearmongering distracts us from important issues such as good education, affordable healthcare, living wages, clean air, and water. Since there are no guarantees in this world, I will continue to live each day and help make my community, this country, and the world a place my granddaughter will feel blessed to inherit.
Barbara Hood
Louisville, Ky.

Women are edging toward Bush because of security? Is that a joke? Can one man's decisions make us secure? No way! We need a community again. We need respect again. We need tolerance again. We need to regain our pride as a country of freedom.

I am reaching out to all women. We have a choice. Don't be silent, wherever you stand on the political spectrum. You have the right to shout out your beliefs from the rooftops. We the people, we the women of the United States of America, demand to be heard.

What do you really want in the next four years? Are you happy with the ways of the current administration? Are you proud at this very moment of what the US stands for in the eyes of the world? If you do not know how the world views us, read, listen, and watch news from outside the US.

Where is a female president when we need her?
Monica Sawdaye
Gotha, Fla.

It takes three to fight

The analogies and issues about electioneering that Brad Rourke brought out in his Sept. 22 Opinion piece, "Ethics of open-source campaign era," are interesting, but his solution is oversimplified and misses a key component. He blames politicians for the nasty politics we are currently seeing coming from both sides of the aisle.

Much of the blame should reside with the citizenry. Almost every poll since the beginning of campaign season has demonstrated that when one candidate attacks the other - avoiding talking about the issues or his own record - his poll numbers go up. Bush and Kerry want to win. Responses from the electorate continually demonstrate that it's smear campaigns that draw attention and have the ability to sway.

Unfortunately, just like any other market-driven commodity, the nastiness will continue until the public decides it's had enough.
Susan Ettinger
Lakewood, Calif.

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