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Our children will pay for this election

THERE IS much to mourn and much that I don't understand in John Kerry's defeat. I feel that I am a stranger in this country. I don't understand how 51 percent of the people could vote for a man whose campaign was so clumsy and manipulative, and whose first four years have been marked by so much belligerence, incompetence, and dishonesty. According to the exit polls the number one issue in the minds of Bush voters was morals.

What do morals mean to those voters, and what makes them think that George W. Bush is a moral person? Bush claims to be guided by Jesus, but it's difficult to see Christ's influence in the president's actions. Now we are faced with a right-wing Republican Congress that will be working hand-in-hand with a right-wing Republican president, and a soon-to-be a right-wing Republican Supreme Court.

We'll see Roe v. Wade overturned. The Bill of Rights will be further eroded as more restrictions are put in place to make us secure. There will be no meaningful investments in alternative energy, and no restrictions on gas guzzling vehicles. We'll be drilling for oil in the Alaskan wilderness, and rolling back environmental regulations to open up national forests for even more logging and mining and snowmobiling. Public education will be further undermined and underfunded, and there will be government vouchers for religious schools. There will be a push to have prayer (Christian) in public schools, and religious icons (Christian) in public spaces.

They'll pass a constitutional amendmant banning gay marriages and find ways to marginalize gays and lesbians. Even more will be spent on defense -- Star Wars and tactical nuclear weapons.

We'll see a major push to pull out of the United Nations. Our GOP rulers will certainly not support the World Court, nor the treaty to eliminate land mines, nor the Kyoto protocol, nor the nuclear disarmament treaty. Their foreign policy will become even harsher and more uncompromising, leaving us with even fewer allies, and Al Qaeda's recruitment efforts will be more successful than ever.

The poor and the middle class will lose more economic ground. There will be tax reform, resulting in big business and the wealthy paying an even smaller share of the costs of public programs. Social Security and Medicare will be privatized, leaving many more people with inadequate coverage. Our children and grandchildren will be paying the price of this election for many years to come.

It's hard to believe this is what the people wanted.

Peterborough, N.H.

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