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Voters Look at a Hopeful's Political Record and Faith

January 18, 2003

If Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) is the best the Democratic Party can do for 2004, it might as well throw in the towel right now ("Lieberman Joins Race, Faults Bush," Jan. 14). This right-winger, who supports the war on Iraq, backs school vouchers, was a principal proponent of the Orwellian Office of Homeland Security and supports President Bush's efforts to federally fund religious charities, is nothing but a pale imitation of Bush himself. We already have one warmongering zealot in the White House; who needs another?

The Democrats need a candidate who supports peace, arms reduction, universal health care, raising the minimum wage and protection of our environment and who would spend our tax dollars helping Americans here at home rather than blowing up other countries abroad. With Democrats like Lieberman, who needs Republicans?

Fred Embree

Carlsbad

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Did Lieberman get the wake-up call on 9/11? Americans must judge candidates on more than their "ideas and values for America's future." This pretense that our president affects only America's future must end. So must the stunted, repetitive, special- interest, stay-on-message presidential campaigns that result. Obviously, Bush and Al Gore should have debated war for oil and preemptive military action. Did Lieberman, the vice presidential candidate, ever share his vision for Israel and Palestine -- will he now?

The world's future affects ours and vice versa. Candidates who envision America's future without addressing the world's are living in the past.

Mimi Kennedy Dilg

Van Nuys

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When a successful Catholic politician once decided that he would run for president, many were skeptical and said that his decisions would be influenced by the Vatican. During his presidency, John F. Kennedy ultimately proved that his decisions regarding U.S. policy would be consistent with his values as an American.

Forty years later, a successful Jewish politician has announced his decision to run for president and is already facing an onslaught of criticism that his policies as president would be influenced by his Jewish faith.

Why do people so quickly rush to their opinions that seasoned politicians will automatically become theocrats the moment they reach higher office? And in an ironic backlash, many Jewish leaders now cry out that Lieberman would be bad for Israel because of his overt devotion to Judaism. Did being a Methodist influence Bush to make decisions that clearly indicated a religious bias? Would the same people who oppose Lieberman because of his Jewish faith oppose Al Sharpton because he is African American? Judge a politician by his merits and visions, not by his or her innate qualities.

Dan Witzling

Los Angeles

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