To the editor:
Once again, the nation is about to witness another great and virulent presidential campaign. I say "again" because there was another such virulent campaign in 1860 when Lincoln was running for president, and many Southerners felt they had been cheated out of Kansas, by the North when the North created the Emigrant Aid Societies, such as the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society that was instrumental in establishing Lawrence in 1854 to insure Kansas became a free state.
It is no secret that many southerners felt they had been wrongfully "cheated" out of Kansas by the North and also "cheated" out of "their" slaves by the so-called Underground Railroads that were spiriting away Negroes to freedom and protection in Canada by the thousands.
The perception in the South of being cheated by the North caused the elections of 1860 to be virulent and hostile as no other national election before or since. Today the cheating is real, if not perceived. Citizens are being cheated out of their rightful representation in government. The cheaters are big businesses, such as oil, chemical and coal industries, who are making contributions to political parties to protect the status quo. In other words for political protection so they can continue to enslave us all. And this new act of "slavery" is once again being done with the tacit approval of the Congress.
In one respect, the 2000 campaign is going to be reversed from the 1860 campaign. We now have the Republican party (the party of Abe Lincoln) supporting special interests who want to enslave us. The Democrats are more prone to protect the rights of the people to be free from social and economic oppression, and to protect us from the environmental degradation being caused by the big powerful companies too. Slavery and secession once forged the Emancipation of Negroes. Now slavery and oppression must come together to forge freedom once again. We must start by showing the Republican Party that we won't tolerate oppression, and we won't vote Republican until they accept and adopt the spirit and values of John McCain, and cut their obligations to big business special interests.