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The stakes for a presidential election have never been higher

I am a proud Democrat and have been for my entire adult life. So when the Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush was the winner of the 2000 presidential election, I was deeply disappointed but consoled myself by thinking, "how much harm could one president do?"

Well, I found out. In the eight disastrous years of the Bush presidency, our country went from prosperity — the budget surplus was a huge campaign issue! — to nearly complete economic collapse, and from a nation whose president helped to end long-standing international conflicts (remember President Clinton's actions in Bosnia and Ireland?) to one who took us to war for the longest period in American history.

Our United States of America is slowly recovering from the failed policies that are still at the heart of the Republican agenda. One president can indeed cause harm to our nation. I've seen it before, and I do not want it to happen again.

Susan Detwiler, Baltimore

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