This letter started out as a means to express Jutta's and my thoughts on your 10 September, 2008 editorial. It is an excellent portrayal of the current situation and we both appreciated it very much. It is a well thought, insightful, and realistic commentary on a process which has become almost meaning-less for much of the population.
Having fulfilled our original intention, and once starting to write, it is difficult to stop; I offer the following additional words.
We have resided in quite a number of places, both in the United States and in foreign countries. Every place has required some adjustment on our part due to many various factors such as prevalent weather patterns, different cultures, strange (to us) social mores, common religious practices, local politics and governments, etc.
This country has it's own peculiar differences; many times these are more readily recognized by foreigners or by citizens who spend substantial time outside of the country. We like to think we cope well in recognizing and understanding these differences. Primarily we have learned to accept, without rancor, an individual's right to a different approach, belief, and opinion. (Maybe with disbelief, incredulity, or amusement; but without rancor). The years following 9-11-2001 and the current political year have surprisingly sapped both our recognition and understanding aspects. It seems that many people of this boundless, good, great country have ceased to think, it is much easier to hear a TV personality's opinion or read the catchy headline and accept or reject the same without further evaluation or inspection and then castigate others with different opinion. Personality plays a prominent and often predominate role. So stories are repeated without much thought. The thinking people of this land need to recognize that there are major domestic issues (the economy, health care, taxes, energy) and global issues (war, terrorism, foreign country alliances, trade) which we need to resolve if this country is to maintain it's leading global role. Each one of us is at fault for our current mundane evolution of this political situation. We must undertake a little more investigation and consideration of the issues and give less attention to personalities. We must demand that the candidates completely discuss the major issues and stay away from ancillary, unimportant anecdotes. In short, if you are betting on a horse to win the race, you need not worry if it is a paint or a palomino, or whether he has dropped an apple on the track. You look at past race records, race lengths, jockeys, and barring unfortunate incidents you are more likely to profit from the situation. Good thinking, good betting.