When I planned this issue, I thought I would endorse Bill Clinton, despite his flaws. I had some language prepared, explaining that a candidate who behaves as if he were compassionate is better than a candidate who makes no pretense; sometimes, the behavior calls the thing itself, or at least social policies which resemble compassionate action.
But the President is a fraud. The constant spectacle of backscratching and favoritism in his Arkansas career, his entanglement with unsavory people, his infidelity and dishonesty, his betrayal of powerless groups for political expediency, and his horrifying civil liberties record overwhelmed me as I researched and wrote about them. At best, he is a weak, evasive human being. I have run out of patience trying to figure out if he is a liberal masquerading as a moderate or vice versa or both; it really doesn't matter. He is an exceptionally dishonest professional politician.
Robert Dole is possibly a better, or at least plainer human being; it is a bit easier to tell what he stands for--though he too has sold out his beliefs for ambition, endorsing supply side economics and sucking up to the religious right. But he too is a professional politician, who has done unsavory legislative favors for major contributors, and he is a dry, harsh, even a mean human being.
Ross Perot is an eccentric distorted by wealth; he is also an insider masquerading as an outsider.
If we do not vote, we give up; those who do not vote do not deserve to live in a democracy; failing to vote is a self-fulfilling prophecy about the death of the society we live in. So, pending the day when there are better choices, I will go to the polling booth, draw the curtain and throw the lever, as I have in every Presidential election in twenty-four years. But I cannot conscientously advocate a vote for any of these men.