To the editor:
As a conservationist -- a word rooted in conservatism -- I will support, campaign for and vote for any candidate regardless of party so long as that candidate has views similar to mine. Although REPAmerica, the Republicans for Environmental Protection, holds views that I share, the unfortunate reality is that for the last couple of decades the Republicans Party leadership has abdicated concern for the environment, for conservation or for the quality of life that future generations will experience. Consequently with increasing frequency I find myself supporting Democrats.
In this spirit, I admire politicians of whatever party who take the lead in promoting legislation that addresses climate change and other critical environmental issues. However, my admiration sours when politicians abandon their previous sane positions and start pandering to voters as they seek re-election or election to higher office.
My admiration sours even more when such politicians sink to the lowest common denominator in our electoral system and abandon all semblance of serious discussion of the issues. When candidates -- as they so often do when their campaign seems doomed -- focus solely on smears, distortions, deceptions and outright lies about their opponents my attitude sours further.
Candidates and their parties should know that paid advertisements, automated telephone calls and mass mailings that simply convey lies and distortions are not persuasive. They merely communicate the abject failure of their campaign to have anything meaningful to say. Such tactics convey only a message of floundering failure and persuade many thoughtful voters to support their opponents.
ALAN JOURNET, Cape Girardeau