Hunters and fishermen have a far tougher time politically than most people. For the continued existence of their sports, they are dependent on two entirely different types of legislators-pro-gunners and environmentalists. Most pro-gun politicians are conservative Republicans. They are against abortion, support school prayer, and would like to see the West strip-mined, the Northeast atom-bombed and turned into a parking lot (we need the space for SUVs), and the oil pipeline designated as the state flower of Alaska. Pro-environment politicians are largely liberal Democrats. They are pro-choice, support vigorous separation of church and state, and would like to see all guns (including those used by cops) melted down and recycled, and baseball bats, bricks, tire irons, and kitchen knives sold only to persons who have been cleared by psychologists to purchase such dangerous objects. Normally, only a fraction of our electorate bothers to vote, due to a combination of revulsion and indifference, and it shows. How did American politics come to such a sorry pass? I have had six decades in which to watch the antics of what we call our leaders. I also have shaken the hands of two presidents (Nixon and Carter: Nixon had a horny hand, and my own developed a strange green growth after I clasped his mitt. Carter's was flabby, but that was probably before he took up carpentry). And so I consider myself qualified to pontificate upon our present plight. Here are four unfortunate facts: I. Votes decide elections, but money buys votes. Essayist and author Gore Vidal pointed out some years ago that legislators no longer represent states; they represent corporations. Getting and keeping elected office at the national level requires a breathtaking amount of money. Where is a politician to get it? From the citizens who check off the $2 contribution box on their income tax returns?