Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Critics, Yes, but None like Those in '64

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Critics, Yes, but None like Those in '64

Article excerpt

Well, I've just answered my last election-connected letter, and I must say: This has not been a Goldwater election year. By that I am referring to the 1964 Barry Goldwater vs. Lyndon Johnson contest for the presidency, when some readers of The Christian Science Monitor were as upset as I've ever known them to be over what they had been reading in our paper about their favorite candidate.

Indeed, our editors in 1964 had even gone so far as to measure the length of stories about these candidates to see to it that the Monitor gave equal play to the contestants. But the angry letters kept pouring in, mostly from fans of Goldwater who felt the Monitor wasn't giving their man a fair shake.

Then came an unsolicited letter-to-the-editor from one of our readers - Barry Goldwater - who was thanking the Monitor for its fairness to him during the campaign. The complaining letters stopped abruptly. Shortly before this November's election I quipped in my column: "Where are the angry letters?" I was commenting on the general lack of voter interest in the outcome that I was sensing. Well, that observation sparked a good many letters. But I would describe almost all of them as being more thoughtful than really angry. Most of the letters came in response to a column in which I had tried to explain why such a large majority of women were going to vote for Clinton: "To me," I had written, "it is very odd that the new tolerance for what could be called breaches of personal morality is coming more from women than from men." A woman from Ohio writes: "That misses the mark, sir. It {the women's vote} has to do with the issues and the greater public good." She goes on: "The 'feminine factor' really relates to women's recognized greater unselfed concerns, such as education, the environment, social injustices. In general, male voters have professed and shown their priorities to be capital and profit enhancement, unregulated exploitation of the environment, and their fiercely defended 'right' to guns of any description and purpose. …

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