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latimes.com/values08. We look forward to hearing from you as the longest campaign season on record rolls on throughout the year.
Your picks for president
Much of western Europe already looks at us as a bit naive due to our loving embrace of religion. The election of a President who does not accept evolution as fact would make us a laughing-stock in much of the educated world.
Ray Hemphill Burbank
I have read your series on American Values and other items regarding the next election; I have listened to parts of debates; and I have asked myself what, if anything, is the current administration doing wrong. All of these have gone into my attempt to decide where to place my vote in a little over a month's time. Although in general I share much of the Times world-view I must note that I do disagree in several areas. But I do believe that the major stand that "my" candidate should take is regarding government regulation.
The Bush administration and seemingly the Republican Party as a whole has been systematically dismantling our regulatory system. We face the destruction of the natural habitat, because the Bush administration attacks any defense thereof. Unions cannot effectively lobby for appropriate workplace protections and appropriate levels of training and pay, because the administration is so supportive of any regulation that restricts business. We allow unrestricted mistreatment of foreign "fighters" and their unauthorized imprisonment, although this is directly counter to the whole basis of our constitution. Even the courts are now ruling that regulation is restrictive of good business. All this must stop, as sensible regulation is good for the country and good for business. The charges of "nanny-government" are more than offset by the failure of regulators to protect where no one else can.
Who, then, will best champion this view? In my mind the answer is neither of the two front running Democrats or any Republican. The two front runners on the Democratic side seem to willing to compromise with business interests to the detriment of the whole. The Republicans never saw a regulation they were willing to enforce if business objected. The electable (unfortunately I must consider that) of the candidates that I believe would go the furthest in this area (without becoming a nanny) is John Edwards.
Edwards is the only candidate talking about the needs of the working man for unions. He is also the candidate who fought big business excesses. I also believe he comes closest of the major candidates in providing the type of leadership which will once again restore protection of our national landscape.
Admittedly, we do have differences of opinion, as I admit to having with the L.A. Times, but to my mind his direction in most areas is the most rational, sensible and worthy of a vote.
Leon C. Bennett Whittier
My husband and I support John Edwards for President of the United States. We will be voting for him because he is the only candidate who realizes that corporate influences over government are the biggest threats to our democracy.
Virginia and Reed Tibbetts Tustin
I cast my vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. She has the temperament, intelligence, experience, and judgment that will enable her to be an effective president who will serve all of the people and who will work to restore our nation's credibility and reputation abroad. I want to thank you for the "American Values" series.
Gary Nagy Gardena
In response to your invitation, I am supporting John Edwards. I think his message--that government has become the pawn and protector of big business at the expense of the citizenry it was hired to represent--is valid. But I'd also like to say that I might be endorsing Joe Biden, who is more experienced than Clinton who is running on her experience, except that I'm sure he won't be on the ballot by the time the primary reaches Connecticut. And that's too bad. Most of the mainstream media covers only the top three candidates (per the latest polls) rather than affording all the candidates equal time. By highlighting only the presumptive contenders, the choice each American gets is diluted. Of course most of the media is owned by big business these days, adding some legitimacy to Mr. Edwards claims.
Gretchen Adamek East Hartford, CT
Principled Paul, protecting Peter