Gary Indiana
East Village

Mergers and Acquisitions

Re James Ridgeway's "The Second Coming" [June 2-8]:

If John Kerry acquires John McCain as his running mate, we can finally stop pretending there is any difference between Democrats and Republicans. America has had a one-party political system for quite a while now. Might as well make it official.

Hugh Siegel
Upper West Side

Come Together

Re Sharon Lerner's "Awkward Kerry, Hopeless Bush" [June 16-22]:

The statements made by the single women have more bite than Lerner's piece. Though Lerner includes their statements, she gives little support to them, nor does she openly challenge the candidates to address their issues.

I am a single woman and have been old enough to vote since 1978. At no time have I found any candidate worth voting for. The day a political candidate fights for the hearts of individuals regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or religion will be the day that not only women but all voters will return to voting.

It's time to give women and all people a candidate who has the resolve to actually fight for what the basic individual requires for a respectful existence. Our focus cannot solely be on women or single women, but all of humanity.

Kate Spider
Plattsburgh, New York

Target Practice

Sharon Lerner makes an interesting point. Until recently, young women actually voted in great numbers compared to young men. Yet all these years, no one seemed very concerned that the large majority of young men were not voting. I don't recall seeing the onslaught of articles that I now see addressing the problem of young women. Why is this? There is some hypocrisy here.

As the statistics Lerner provides show, the voting habits of both young men and young women are pitiful. We should be concerned that young people in general are not voting. In fact, we should be concerned that Americans are generally not voting.

I understand that the political parties are going to target age and gender groups that they feel will vote for them, but why must The Village Voice target voters too?

Robert Watson
Kew Gardens

Rock On

Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Doing It With R. Kelly" [June 15, villagevoice.com] was excellent. I wish the rest of the populace would get it. His lyrics are so juvenile and nasty. I long for the '70s again.

Robin C. Rock
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Defense Rests

Re "Doing It With R. Kelly":

I don't know what your musical tastes are, but as far as r&b is concerned, R. Kelly is the truth. You only have to listen to music today to realize that Kelly is a cut above the rest. He is a man of contradictions and is not afraid to expose his fans to his tortured spirit. When I listen to R. Kelly, I identify with a struggle for spirituality that is often overcome by a primal urge to get down and dirty. Maybe you are just too repressed to truly get and feel the essence of songs like "12 Play" and "Your Body's Calling." Maybe you've never felt so alone in this world that you literally needed a hug. You stand and judge R. Kelly, deeming him guilty as though you were privy to all the facts and evidence that surround his highly publicized case. You may not like him as a person. He may, in your eyes, be guilty of what he is charged with, but to deny him his musical prowess is downright ridiculous.

Tokozani Zaza
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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