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Do the right thing

Thomas Jefferson, regarded the father of the Democratic Party, believed all human beings were born with natural rights. During the 20th century the Democratic Party, representing independent farmers and craftsmen, took up the cause of labor unions, senior citizens, working mothers, children and members of minority groups.

President Roosevelt passed legislation protecting unions, to encourage collective bargaining, created unemployment insurance, underwrote mortgages for homeowners and farmers and used payroll taxes to finance Social Security. In l936 the Fair Labor Standards Act established the minimum wage, the 40-hour week, overtime pay and a minimum working age of l6.

During the Johnson era, Medicare passed, relieving millions of senior citizens of worry over medical bills. Welfare reform was devised by Democrat Daniel Moynihan.

There is a difference between the two parties. A party that represents your needs, not corporate America. Now go vote and do the right thing! ' Virginia M. Newton, Medford

A nation divided

Have we become a nation divided? If so, we need to quickly correct that situation or the same things that happened to ancient Rome could also happen to us. The same corrupt characteristics are present in our nation.

We need to ask ourselves ' between Bush and Kerry, who has the morals and character that will unite us as one with godly leadership? President Bush has proven himself a strong leader who continues to do the right thing even though it is often not the popular thing.

— The issues we Christians stand for are the same ones that are important to him. Let's put a halt to the secular left and their determination to destroy our nation. God's word, the Bible, says, A nation divided will not stand. ' Gordon DeVos, Medford

Real team spirit

I could not be more pleased and proud of our North Medford High cheerleaders for being selected to go to this year's Orange Bowl. It is a great honor.

However, wouldn't it be nice if they were to take the &

36;50,000 they must raise locally in order to go to the event, and donate it to local charities?

That would be real team spirit. ' Ann Wilton, Ashland

Hitting below the belt

Where has honor gone? The articles attacking John Kerry make me sick.

Of course there were atrocities committed by the United States in the Vietnam war. I recall one village that was annihilated and a young officer took the fall.

Tell me of a war where these acts do not happen. One thing I might gather from all this viciousness ' maybe a guilty conscience coming forward?

Such viciousness makes me all the more determined to vote for John Kerry. This is hitting below the belt, and who wants a president who condones such behavior? ' Mary E. Paine, Medford

Smear tactics sickening

The smear tactics of the Bush/Cheney team increasingly sicken me. Their attempts to discredit John Kerry's military career will hopefully backlash upon them. George W. Bush's rich-boy draft-dodging and partying (including drug and alcohol use) during the Vietnam war shows the hypocrisy of such attacks against Kerry.

Instead of focusing on the smoke screen, voters need to examine real issues like the Bush administration's rampant weakening of our country's environmental and civil liberty protections. The administration's huge taxpayer giveaways to the richest few threaten to leave the largest national debt in history, in part to subsidize the defense industry with an unneeded and dishonest war in Iraq.

Many of us worry that another four years of Bush nonsense will rid our country of the constitutional protections our predecessors worked so hard to attain. Another four years could take us perilously close to a government we very well might call fascist. ' Spencer Lennard, Williams