April 5, 2003

Right or wrong, while American troops are in the midst of fighting a war to free the Iraqi people, it was highly inappropriate for Democratic presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry to say, "What we need now is not just a change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States." Though the presidency and the Congress have assumed too much power, President Bush is hardly a tyrant.

Likewise, it was opportunistic for leading Republicans to come out with scathing responses to Kerry's statement, resulting in a firestorm of vitriolic exchanges between Democrats and Republicans, concluded by Kerry accusing his political enemies of "fake patriotism."

Kerry needn't wrap himself in Viet Nam war medals, nor should anyone belittle others for not serving in the military to make their points. It's damage enough that rancorous political rhetoric, particularly in presidential politics, has become unnecessarily shallow and unseemly.

Indeed, the Democratic and Republican parties have become contradictions in terms, if not the antitheses of a democracy and a republic. At the very least, oxymorons betraying their names. If anything needs changing in America, it's the two-party regime of expanding government, along with the selfish interests and personal power that make it grow. This humble independent voter suggests that we try nonpartisan government with more democracy and less demagoguery. The people's regime would do nicely.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder