The editorial ``The Politics of Meanness,'' Sept. 26, brought to light a pivotal issue in the strength and direction of our nation. Spiteful and petty campaign ads undermine our perception of government and the worth of our strong nation. I am not saying that shortcomings and illegal activities or voting records are not fair issues in a campaign. However, factors in the life of an opponent which are not of his action or choosing are moot points as to the opponent's fitness for office.
Looking at the presidential campaign of 1992, I believe President Bush lost the swing vote and reelection with his brutal attacks against then-Gov. Bill Clinton and Sen. Al Gore Jr. in his statements such as, ``My dog Millie knows more about foreign policy than those two bozos.''
If the president of the United States does not show respect toward his fellow man, why should citizens respect one another or children respect each other or their elders? Is this not the basis of crime in this nation? Respect for one another protects members of society from verbal and physical abuse. Our politicians must tighten their latitudes in competing for office. Without this, the value of the office and, by extension, the value of governments are lost.
Democracy is government by the people. With the primary election turnout of under 50 percent, except for the reelection of Mayor Marion Barry in Washington, D.C., one sees the apathy, the disregard for the election process on the part of US citizenry. Denyse DuBrucq, Arlington, Va.
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