Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Patriotic ideals

This letter appeared on today's editorial page in the Los Angeles Daily News.

Patriotic ideals

Sen. John McCain has made patriotism an issue in his campaign for the presidency. Patriotism is indeed a legitimate issue and McCain, shot down, captured and imprisoned for years, suffered greatly. Patriotism, however, must extend beyond military service. Of the dangers threatening our country today, one of the most subtle has been the erosion of standards of honorable behavior and failing ethics.

We have had a president who has lied, given support to torture and whose enemy-combatant ploy can, at his whim, jail a citizen for years without evidence, without trial, with no appeal and with no explanation of the charges. This is fascism.

The principal focus of patriotism today must be the defense and reaffirmation of the ideas and ideals that made our country great. Surely truthfulness is one of these ideals. How, then, can we support a candidate for the presidency whose campaign includes many lies - most recently, one falsely accusing Barack Obama of proposing sex education for tiny tots?

Yes, this is politics, but should not political attacks be limited to the issues? McCain's tactics are to divert attention from them and to focus instead on unrelated nonsense.


The letter writer is chairman of the board of the MediaNews Group, the Daily News' parent company.

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