The window by my desk looks toward the flag of our country. I think of its history, the political campaigns it and other flags have witnessed, the candidates now striving to be worthy to be elected to lead the country it represents – and I wonder “What have we come to?”

I first was eligible to vote in 1952, for Dwight D. Eisenhower, and have been a Republican since – a moderate one, to be sure. I’ve voted in every presidential election since then and, with one exception, for the Republican candidate.

Whichever party won, I felt sure, Congress and our Constitution would prevail and America would continue on its democratic, free course. That is, until now.

These sputtering, vicious, bombastic tirades serve only to underline the obvious truth: Not one of these so-called front-runners is qualified, by any stretch of the imagination, to lead our country. Many campaigns have contained vitriol and exaggerated statements throughout our history, but nothing to match this.

We deserve a president who acts like a president, whom all of us can respect, who serves that office responsibly, with dignity. We need a president to respect, in turn, the opinions and beliefs of those who may not agree but who are open to responsible debate and cooperation. It used to work pretty well.

The Feb. 29 Press Herald contained a well-thought, well-considered appraisal of the Republican situation as it stands (“Our View: Ohio Gov. Kasich is best choice for Republican presidential nomination”). Since that first debate, John Kasich has been the only sane voice to survive.

I only wish he’d received more attention from the press, which has been far too generous in its coverage of the infighters’ drama and colossal chaos. Perhaps his poll numbers would have more accurately reflected his ability and level-headed approach to the many issues facing us down the road.

Judith Sturtevant Harris

Standish