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Re "Hatch for Senate: Give Utah's lion one more term" (Our View, Sept. 23):

Sen. Orrin Hatch for another six years in the Senate might make some kind of sense for Utah, but it's a terrible idea for our country.

Those long enough in the tooth remember what has and hasn't gone on in the United States since Hatch (now 78) and some of his too-long-in-office colleagues landed in our nation's capitol in the 1970s. During those 36 years, real and continuing leadership on these national problems has been absent:

• the "war" on drugs;

• the results of illegal immigration;

• the pollution of politics by big money;

• the exponential availability of guns in the wrong hands;

• a $2-3 trillion national backlog of infrastructure renewal and repair;

• a tax code long overdue for simplification;

• fiscally draining foreign policy decisions that have, as superpower on call, kept us (1) the target of terrorists, (2) in war after war, and now in debt from military expenditures larger than the rest of the world combined.

I've no doubt forgotten some things; while I'm in good shape for my age (76), I'm prone to forgetting.

Ron W. Smith


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