I read with interest Judy Haffner's letter "Bush supporters not alone" (Empire letters to the editor, Oct. 13) and was struck by the parallels between her story and mine. My grandparents and parents were staunch Republicans and so I tended to be Republican when it came time to vote. Today I would be embarrassed to say I was a Republican due to the policies of the Bush administration. These policies include a diminishment of women's rights, an undermining of the public school system, the writing of environmental policy by industry lobbyists, and the application of either/or thinking to the complicated issues that face this nation.
I guess I pretty much feel that the current administration in Washington has sold our country down the road to keep themselves in office and turn a profit. I don't see my concerns as "Bush-bashing" or "hate-filled." Rather I see these concerns springing out of a deep love for my country.
This leaves me looking ahead to the vote in November. To this end I began reading about John Kerry in a variety of sources because I had heard all the negative spin about him. I tried to educate myself about the issues and look beyond the sound bites. I've watched the debates, gone online, and read a variety of newspapers. What I have found is a John Kerry who is a reflective human being, who cares deeply about our country and our citizens, who understands the importance of allies in a complicated world, and who is ready and willing to lead this nation out of a sense of civic duty. As voters we owe it to our country and our democracy to educate ourselves on the issues facing us in this election. Not everyone will come to the same conclusions that I have, but they will be able to cast informed votes and we will have a stronger nation because of it.