On Election Day, Fairfield voters have a telling opportunity to demonstrate where our politics and candidate selection need to go for principle, image and issue outcome. We can either keep to our detached cynicism or take a stand with our ballots against the "talk" of money, media-driven celebrity influence and special-interest lobbying clout.

Just as the greed of investment banking and the leverage of hedge fund insider trading brought the US economy to the brink of total collapse four years ago, super PAC manipulation is destroying campaign integrity, along with individual candidates trying to serve. The whole corrupting effect is once more making American History with a magnitude the Founding Fathers never could have imagined.

Just as we have again reached the necessity of re-distributing wealth, as Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt both understood and each impressed upon their parties in their day, power now needs to be restored to the people in the political and electoral process. To use a current bite phrase: "It's the middle class, stupid!" -- in more ways than one. Only by reforming economic and political systems together, can we restore national integrity and enable most to realize, before it evaporates, that they can once again realize the American dream from the kitchen table. It's the dream of raising educated kids; owning a home; working down debt with a secure job and leaving their next generation family living better than they did.

Here in our state and town, we can take an iconic first step by showing that wealth and conceit cannot purchase a senior public office in the U.S. Senate. Mrs. McMahon needs to be shown once more that unlimited personal millions spent on campaigns is no substitute for working your way up in politics. There are no shortcuts. Business luck is no qualification for parliamentary know-how.

We voters also have a moment to judge beyond the attack ads, debate tweaks and cyber communication strokes in placing the best Presidential candidate in the White House. Do we choose a seasoned and articulate incumbent, who has displayed the judgment balance of a commander-in-chief or do we take a chance on a cosseted, venture capital wonk who flips positions and spins performance demeanor with his handlers in awkward attempts to identify with the plight of most American wage-earners and taxpayers? The choice is stark and obvious.

Finally, we can send a message to Congress. Forget Tea Party fundamentalist doctrine and arrogance and step across the aisle and produce a compromise solution for our economic well being, now and for future solvency. The attitude necessary is as blunt as President Harry Truman once put it: "It's doing what people do not want to do and making them like it.

David K. Sturges

Southport