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Political Dilemma of a Young Voter

November 09, 1986

As a 21-year-old Los Angeles native, I still face the "dilemma of the young voter." Where do I fit in our political process? How can I participate to improve myself and society around me? I have had the privilege to vote in four elections already, but I still cannot confidently choose one of our two major political parties to support.

The major parties ignore me. My views do not meld into either the Republican or Democratic image. I cannot tolerate the extreme social naivete of those who believe that by legislating morality we will really improve society. Republicans can't do it with crusades against pornography or homosexuality or abortion, and Democrats can't do with paternalistic welfare programs.

I cannot tolerate the lack of fiscal responsibility that threatens to undermine our economy. Republicans don't have the courage to balance their budgets, and Democrats believe all problems will go away if they spend enough money.

Why can't we have at least a third major party? One that embraces classical liberal views of sound fiscal management and free enterprise with modern progressive ideas of social tolerance, privacy, and manageable "safety-net" programs? Why have all recent attempts failed?

As I mature, I become more skeptical about our nation's political process. I have an inherent belief that democratic government can benefit society (and surely it has). Yet my memories of Presidents range only from those who have been power-hungry, ineffective, and socially blind. Candidates ignore voters' concerns in favor of mudslinging. No wonder I feel that to succeed, I must work on my own, with my friends and local community, and avoid the smelly business of politics.

KENNETH B. HAYES

Claremont

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