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This may not be the correct place for this, but... Some twenty years ago, while attending college, my political conscience awoke and I became a very active Young Republican. Even just a few years ago during the last election cycle, I was still actively aiding in the election campaigns of local (upstate South Carolina) Republican candidates: out in the streets and in their campaign headquarters. But... Today, election year '96, I am scared. Not scared that abortion may become illegal again. That's not the issue; that's only a symptom of something much more sinister. The religious zealots scare me. The religious fanatics taking over the party and ultimately, the government. A religious fanatic is still a fanatic, and any fanatic is a danger to his/her self and potentially, others. ... Blindly following my party into the pulpit of religious intolerance or off a cliff, are both things that I am not willing to do. Not voting is not an option, at least to me it is not an option...

"But," you say, "Bob Dole is not of the religious fringes, these fanatics as you see them." And yes, I agree. But, and this is a big but, Bob Dole has already caved in several times to these fanatics and others in the party. He is single minded in becoming President before he dies, and seems willing to be a puppet if need be, to do so. And a puppet President, a puppet for a religious fanatical group... is totally and unequivocally unacceptable. Period.

Clinton stands out as the only remaining choice: the only insurance we have today against the "want-to-be" religious dictatorial government of tomorrow, the New Republican party. My party has moved out from under me: I have not moved away from my party. - Greg

P.S. I realize that there is much time between now and the '96 election. Much can happen. As such, I hope that these, my concerns, reach the eyes/ears of those that might make a difference; might lead the party away from its demise. I'll wait and see, but I hold little hope. I don't feel like a Democrat; I simply feel abandoned.

Dear Greg - you are not the only one who feels abandoned by the Republican Party - many others do, too, - including Tanya Mehlich who wrote a great book on the subject - The Republican War Against Women. Personally, I am a Democrat, but would not hesitate to vote for a Republican who supported the issues that I believe in - access to family planning, including legal and federally funded abortions, education for all, health care for all, no tax breaks for the rich or for large corporations, less defense, etc... However, the candidates who have been most in synch with my politics have been Democrats and yes, I would never vote for a candidate who was anti-choice - because in my mind they are essentially denying me my right to choose. And yes, we are in jeapordy of losing that right - poor women and young women have already lost that right through parental consent laws and the Hyde Amendment. Other women are losing this option more and more - those in rural areas, who can't afford to drive 8 hours to the nearest clinic; those in the state of Mississippi where there is only one clinic in the state; those who are being confronted by anti-choice extrememists at clinics; the fact that there are fewer doctors who can provide safe abortions, because medical schools no longer require that medical students be trained in these procedures and because doctors are too scared to undertake this.

So yes, we are in danger. As Congress is today, pro-choice representatives are a minority. And regardless of what Bob Dole says - his voting record is proof that he is anti-choice. He has not supported one 'pro-choice' bill in the past 4 years. Actions speak louder than words.

("For more than 20 years I've opposed Roe v. Wade, and I support a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade." - Bob Dole, New York Times, March 1996). The good news is that there are a few pro-choice Republicans - and Voters for Choice can help you find some in your area (202-588-5200).

I hope this helps - and I hope that you care enough about women and their right to reproductive freedom to vote for candidates who support them.


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