"War of Words Reopens Democratic Party Rift" (Aug. 6), exploring the Gore-Lieberman split on the strategic value of a populist stance in 2000 or now, is interesting. But after 18 months of President Bush floundering, and a special-interests agenda, what is more important now is our need for political leaders to rise above worrying about the marketability of a message and speak out for what is wise and proper for us and the world, no matter what the polls might say.
Caring about a populist agenda used to mean doing something for the have-nots left behind by the haves. If catering to a populist mass now means word-smithing a message that will attract voters hopelessly uninformed about candidates and issues--who make choices channel-surfing style--America will become a hollow shell of its original promise.
Bush's simple-mindedness is unfortunate enough, but an even larger question is how we recover from the recklessness of electing such an unqualified candidate as the "leader of the free world" in the first place.
We are told by pollsters that Bush's popularity is still in the 70% range due to continuing admiration for the way he responded to the terror attacks of Sept. 11. This nonthinking is amazing, since virtually anyone in the Oval Office would have authorized some kind of action to go after the 9/11 killers.
As each cowboys-and-Indians ploy of the administration is revealed, seemingly every week, what exactly is it we believe Bush has personally accomplished with his war? Precisely why do we display our "proud to be an American" stickers right now?
While 70% of the country somehow manages not to laugh or cry about our current Washington leadership, we flip-flop and stumble on issue after issue of vital importance to a better society and better world.
Somehow political candidates must emerge who will draw on genuine experience, intelligence and caring to voice visions and policies that are right--not merely poll-conscious.
John von Szeliski
Ronald Brownstein can dance around all he likes on what demographic groups did or did not vote for Al Gore in the last presidential election. But the bottom line is that Gore won the 2000 election and would be sitting in the Oval Office right now were it not for the illegal judicial coup committed by the Supreme Court, which installed this current unelected president.