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Praise the Pilgrim Protester

By the end of her cross-country pilgrimage, it wasn't so much Doris Haddock's cause of campaign-finance reform that was inspiring. Rather, it was more the fact that an elderly woman courageously walked across America - wearing out four pairs of sneakers.

Still, she's a folk hero for the way she stood up for common folk. Civic protest that's built on stamina, conviction, and - in her case, a sense of joy and delight - is hard to ignore.

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There's nothing retiring about this great-grandmother from New Hampshire. With just a meager income, she decided to leave a legacy to her descendants: a better democracy that doesn't let big money influence how politicians act.

From Pasadena to the nation's capital, this modern-day Johnny Appleseed spread the seeds of political reform that's now a lively theme in the presidential campaign. Perhaps the people she touched on her 3,000-mile trek will "walk the walk" with her in this November's election and help reduce the power of special-interest money in Washington.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society