Focus on issues

I am appalled. Are we so bankrupt a nation, so divorced from the political and economic realities of our day, that we would allow an allegation of a former affair published by a rag magazine to ruin a legitimate and increasingly successful bid for the presidency? I hope not, and I for one have had enough.

We have failed to master the dynamics of a truly pluralistic society. We have an economy so stagnant by mismanagement at all levels that recovery is not around the corner. Unfortunately, we also have a president whose interest in our most pressing domestic issues is directly proportionate to his approval ratings.

Yet what do we seem to be concerned about? What issue has so acutely captured the attention of the media that inordinate amounts of air time and print are spent covering it? The alleged Clinton affair. Are we truly more interested in his past personal life then his present and future policies for this country?

I do not know if Governor Bill Clinton is the person who can bring about meaningful change, but I would like the chance to find out. With all due respect for President Bush, he is simply not the agent for change that is so desperately needed. Having been shortsighted in the past, I will not be swayed by his State of the Union address. I fear that he will merely co-opt longstanding congressional programs and claim them as his own for political survival. We need a new voice in the White House.

However, if our obsession with unsubstantiated scandal remains unabated, I fear that I, and other voters, will miss the opportunity to cast an intelligent and informed vote. We simply cannot afford to have this rather insignificant issue dictate and dominate our national debate. Our problems are too large. If we do, then we will certainly get what we deserve. Please, let us focus on the real issues this time.

Joseph S. Badger