Candidates should speak responsibly

Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2004

Are we truly ready for another election?

The ballot is ready: Bush-Cheney versus Kerry-Edwards. The question is, are we ready? Politics and elections in general and as a rule, are contentious affairs, so it should not be surprising if this one becomes a testy race. However, there are reasons to believe this particular battle for the White House might leave more than a few wounded along the way.

The country is perilously reaching levels of division and animosity not seen since the early 1970s. Labeling and name-calling are favorite sports of talk-show pundits as well as of the average citizen.

It is under this climate that the average voter is expected to wisely and rationally choose the next President of the United States.

A daunting task to say the least.

It would be, therefore, the responsibility of those whose names appear on the ballot to not add more heat to the simmering cauldron that is American politics today. Trouble is, prudence and measured words do not win elections these days. Snappy slogans and sound bites do. ...

On our way to choosing our leader for the next four years, Americans must realize that no amount of bitterness or venom ever cured the ills of this nation. They were cured by action, commitment and not a small amount of compromise. One side cannot always be wrong any more than the other side can always be right. ...

If we let this election turn us into a nation of enemies, the outcome will be negative regardless of who gathers the most votes.

Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, Wash.

July 8

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