As election time draws closer, I imagine we will see more heated letters in the paper, opposing or supporting candidates. We will see more signs, more ads, maybe more demonstrations. And unfortunately, we will see more name-calling and hateful generalizations, such as the letter that appeared in this paper on Thursday, Sept. 9.

While it was obvious what political party the author of that letter supports, such a terrible attitude has become a major issue in all political parties. We have become more and more polarized and suddenly it has become okay to hate each other based on political preference. I have no objection to voicing one's opinion, as I am doing now, but I often avoid reading political letters in the paper because I find this sort of attitude so discouraging and disgusting. I am embarrassed whether it is my party or not. Why is it that anger has replaced mature, open-minded political discussion?

We should all be unimpressed when grown men and women decide that harassment or "flipping the bird" is the best way to make one's opinions known. However, that sort of attitude is prevalent in all political debates, no matter which party.

Everybody should have found the end of that letter insulting - it is horribly offensive to declare that any person, just because they don't share your opinion, would abandon their true stand if life's circumstances should change. Yet the letter declares that any conservative would change their beliefs if life threw them a challenge.

That was a cheap way to retaliate against Republicans declaring Sen. Kerry a "flip-flopper. It is also unfair to say that someone voting outside their party is flip-flopping.

We should all try to vote for the candidate, not the party, without being accused of betraying that party.

I am not taking issue with political allegiance, but all of us should find such obvious prejudice demeaning. It should be beneath us. Let's be examples to younger generations of voters, rather than acting like children when someone disagrees with us.

MELINDA A. HUMPHREY

Pendleton

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