ELECTION 2002 & YOU
San Jacinto, Calif.
* I am angry at a political party that stood meekly by while right-wing Republicans took control of all three branches of government. I am angry at a party that lost consciousness in the year 2000 and has yet to regain it. I am angry at a party wholly out of touch with its historical constituency. I am angry at a party whose leaders are deathly afraid of being branded "disloyal." I am angry at a party that lacks leaders energetic and charismatic enough to call out the faithful to vote. I am angry at a party that cannot articulate powerful and important issues that might, just possibly, win an election. EDWARD B. MILLS
Green Bay, Wisc.
* Your election analysis was excellent. Your ideas on how to fix the problem made complete sense. I happen to be a Republican who would like to see the changes you have suggested. It would be so refreshing to hear some new ideas coming from the mouths of Democrats. We Republicans do not mind challenging our opposition on ideas. Lately all we have heard from the Dems is No ideas! No vision! No anything! SUSAN WINTER
Sun City, Ariz.
* Yes, we need Democrats who have the "fire in their bellies." Willing to take some chances, willing to see the fur fly instead of hiding in their pink tutus, playing it safe. Failing to risk themselves will consign us to six more years for the Bush gang to further damage this country while we hold the feeble hope that there will be a backlash in 2004. PATRICIA CONREY
* All ye who have devoted the last two years to castigating Ralph Nader for the Democrats' failure in the 2000 election--who do you blame for 2002? L.A. HEBERLEIN
* You excoriate the Democrats, you shame them, you vent, you stamp your feet--and then you continue to hope that they will change, feeling the need to endorse their future failures. As a Green Party activist, I am dumbfounded by your reluctance to abandon this broken party. Paul Wellstone's death was symbolic beyond words. I implore you to endorse third-party alternatives. All the issues you lament as being ignored by the Democrats--corporate crime, smashed civil liberties, war-on-terror blowback--were the cornerstones of third-party campaigns all over the country. It would be a shame to have to write this letter again in two years. ROB WENDT
* In fact, there were places where Democratic strategy worked. Here in Iowa, the party used a very aggressive door-to-door campaign to wake up Democrats and get them to vote. This resulted in decisive wins for Tom Harkin and Tom Vilsack. Yes, the Republicans have figured out that to gain control of Congress--and the White House--they'll look strategically at the map and decide where they can win. Democrats need not only to speak with a strong progressive voice but also to expand their reach into places they've given up on. They were successful here in Iowa, without sacrificing progressive thinking. They can do it nationwide. WILLIAM WELBURN
* Most races in the midterm elections totaled out at 51-49 or 52-48 percent; some worse and a few better. Republicans control most of the national and local media. Republicans out-spent Democrats in virtually every race, by many millions of dollars. The Democratic "leadership" comes from two fairly conservative areas, so both were afraid to lead (assuming they had the ability, something that's never been demonstrated). They defaulted. Given that playing field, I find it astounding that so many voters weren't taken in. Two years of Wag the Dog, 1984-style propaganda should have given the Republicans a 2-to-1 win. The fact that it only provided a small edge should inspire all liberals. ROBERT J. MCDONALD
Santa Monica, Calif.
* Imploring the Democratic Party to stand for and with progressive struggles is like asking abusive men to stop harming women. …