Pubdate: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 Date: 08/26/1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Author: Richard Prawdzienski Note: Subjectline by MAP Politicians and journalists coming to the defense of Texas Gov. George W. Bush over rumors of his use of cocaine are telling us that a zone of privacy should be respected and that the sins of youth should not be a factor now. If these arguments are valid for politicians, then they also should be valid for all Americans. If drug use is a private issue, then government should get out of controlling private decisions, and it should clear criminal records when citizens reach a certain age. Politicians are telling us that we did not dig into their personal lives in the old days, and we should not be digging today. In the old days, politicians garnered many special privileges for themselves that made it easy for them to hide their past and be undetected hypocrites. Do we want to go back? Richard Prawdzienski, Edmond, Okla.