To the editor:
A small blurb on page 7A of the Sept. 30 Journal-World informed us that John Eisenhower, the son of President Dwight Eisenhower, has switched party affiliation after being a Republican for 50 years and will be voting for John Kerry in November. As someone who was once a registered Republican, the reasons for this action on his part resonate with me.
For those interested in more detail about his reasons, I offer the following quotes from his commentary published in the Manchester Union Leader:
"The fact is that today's Republican Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me the word Republican has always been synonymous with the word responsibility. Today's whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.
"Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.
"The Republicans used to be deeply concerned for the middle class and small business. Today's Republican leadership ... heads us in the direction of a society of very rich and very poor.
"Sen. Kerry has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent and concerned. I will vote for him enthusiastically."
I also agree with John Eisenhower's comment that this is an election of "extraordinary importance to the future of our nation" and that your vote should be "based on careful thought" rather than merely voting a party label or out of "ingrained" habit.