Misleading the Public

Hiding the GOP Platform President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the Republican Party are proud of their strong positions on their core conservative family values. These values include, according

Hiding the GOP Platform
President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the Republican Party are proud of their strong positions on their core conservative family values. These values include, according to the Republican platform, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and another amendment to ban political demonstrations where the American flag is burned.

Why would President Bush want to mislead "moderate" Republicans and independent voters by presenting a majority of speakers and supporters who do not share these conservative core family values? Sen. McCain, Gov. Schwarzenegger and Mayor Guiliani, all key Republican National Convention speakers, oppose the same-sex marriage ban, as does Cheney.

If President Bush is truly proud of and intends to push the Republican platform in his next administration, he should not mislead moderates and independents into thinking their positions will receive any support in the second Bush term.

The platform, which is now missing from the RNC Web site, made it clear that moderate and independent voters' views will be ignored by the Bush-Cheney ticket. Someone once told me that a pig in a tux is still just a pig. Surrounding Bush's conservative values by McCain, Schwarzenegger and Guiliani is still just trying to put a pig in a tux.

This is why I, as an independent voter who cast my first presidential ballot for President Reagan, will be voting for Kerry-Edwards. At least the Democrats are still proud enough of their platform to keep it on their Web site.

— Bruce Carter, Fairfield

Little Peddlers
Another school year begins. Can the sight of children peddling candy for an education be far off? I hate to see it. "It's for a good cause," say adults. But what's the lesson in putting candy bars in the hands of children and telling them to find a buyer? That's what minimum wage sales clerks do — or drug pushers. No wonder our students aren't ready for the new millennium.

Until we find ways to properly fund education while letting professional sports franchises fund new stadiums with bake sales, we're stuck in the present paradigm. It's a matter of values.

Why not have children earn money for their schools in a real-world way and enrich everyone's life in the process? Let students perform in public, not just on school premises. Who, besides parents attending sports contests and military recruiters, has been on school property lately?

Washing cars to fund class trips or new band uniforms is only a start. Kids have better things to sell. Why not have them sing, dance, play music instruments at the mall or sell their art and poetry at the flea market? Nobody sees the world like a 6-year-old. It shows in their art. I can see it, and I'd pay for it.

If candy is the only thing adults will buy from students asked to peddle for their education, then have home economic classes make it and business classes market it. Why not give government subsidies to marching bands to perform in shopping center parking lots on Saturdays? Are battleships our only worthy government expenditure?

Tell this to people, and they roll their eyes and say, "No one will buy it." Am I to conclude, therefore, that what we have children learn in school every day has no value? Does an education have no worth until the moment of graduation?

How do we expect students to value their education? Maybe this is why our schools don't work anymore.

In a country where adults have forsaken the reading of literature, we claim that schools are sacred places. Yet, increasingly, we fund them with casinos and lotteries and children peddling candy in the streets. We're drifting, people.

Don't buy junk from little peddlers. It's ruining the kids.

— Bruce Schultz, Cold Spring

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