So it has come to this: We must choose either Ken Cuccinelli II or Terry McAuliffe for Virginia’s highest office. Oh, for the days when we had a difficult time deciding between deserving, reasonable gubernatorial candidates whose differences were the subject of normal governance debates.

Surely there are superior candidates out there. Why, then, are we stuck with such poor choices? No doubt a major factor is that better potential candidates find the divisive, uncompromising political climate of the past few years too off-putting . And that climate, continuously ramped up by radio and TV talk-show programming, shows no signs of abating.

So with each new election, we must decide whom to vote against rather than whom to vote for — who will do the least damage rather than accomplish the most. What a shame.

John Long, Mechanicsville, Va.