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Political System Took a Wrong Turn

May 01, 1988

I am a 19-year-old college student, and I am very concerned. I consider myself and my fellow students to be the future of America. So what am I concerned about? What will be left of this country for us!

I have recently had the unique opportunity to get involved in our present political system from the inside. My mother, Kathleen Latham, is running for Congress in the 40th District. What I have seen of the system scares me to death!

Somewhere along the line, the road to our current system took a wrong turn. It has become a haven for an elite few instead of the ideal it was founded upon. If you need proof that something is wrong, simply look at the choices we have for our upcoming presidential election. I want to cast a vote for a candidate I believe in, not for the lesser of two evils. So why am I forced to choose from a lot like this?

Politics has become an occupation. It is no longer representation of the people by the people, but representation of the people by the politicians. It has become big business to get a politician elected. The "political machine" and special-interest factions select their puppet and then do everything in their power to see to it this puppet is elected. And they have a wide base of power. The result is that the people have become apathetic about the election process. This is evidenced by the continually declining numbers appearing at the polls.

The ordinary well-qualified citizen doesn't think he can run anymore against the power players. He cannot gain the type of support that he needs to win because of this developed apathy. The public is no longer involved enough to donate its time and money, let alone an intelligent vote. Too many people are not even aware of who is running until they read their ballot on Election Day.

What happened to what the United States is supposed to be all about? The people of the United States of America no longer have a say in what our government does--whether it be aid to the Contras or the appointment of the attorney general. But the biggest mistake of all is that the public seems not to care at all and so this pattern continues. What happened to "mom, baseball, and apple pie?" Where is our patriotism? Let's get involved!

These are purely my views and not necessarily those of my mother, the candidate. Obviously, however, I have come to these views by watching her struggle in this very situation.

ANDREA LATHAM

Irvine

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