• U.S.

Inbox: Apr. 9, 2007

11 minute read

Reclaiming Reagan’s Legacy

Hypocrisy is at the root of the sad situation on the political right, and Ronald Reagan started it [March 26]. He said the right things in a most seductive manner. Despite his talk of small government and fiscal responsibility, the federal bureaucracy and the national debt both grew tremendously under his guidance. Politicians say whatever the audience wants to hear, even if their words are completely divorced from reality. Whether discussing budget forecasts, civil liberties, the environment or reasons for war and the readiness of troops, they are just uttering patriotic-sounding lies. Rodney Hoffman, LOS ANGELES

Maybe one word explains much of what went wrong with the conservative movement: hubris. John Griffiths, BUFFALO CITY, WIS.

Karen Tumulty didn’t speak of the elephant in the room: the Republican Party. It is bigoted, divisive and hypocritical; it is blurring the lines between church and state, abusing our Constitution, politicizing every agency, bankrupting our economy, flouting congressional oversight, abusing our troops and governing without compassion but with plenty of incompetence. The irony about not speaking about the elephant when talking about the party of the elephant is in itself ironic. Jenna Walden, SEATTLE

Re your cover image of Reagan shedding a tear: You got it wrong. Reagan would not be crying. Rather, with that twinkle in his eye, he would smile, slightly cock his head and urge us to try harder. He would not have us look to the past, as Tumulty surmised, but he would encourage us to take action to improve our situation, because “the best is yet to come!” Thomas Okada, LOS ANGELES

Your outright cheerleading for the Democrats made the cover story an Op-Ed piece. When you put down your pom-poms, please pass me some Alka-Seltzer. Mark Krauth, CONCORD, CALIF.

The Republicans are in the mess they’re in because they’ve followed Reagan’s advice, not because they’ve ignored it. Today’s budget deficits are the legacy of Reagan’s tax-cut mania. Saddam Hussein’s military might began growing with help from the Reagan Administration. Where would we be now if we had continued President Jimmy Carter’s policies of investing in renewable energy rather than Reagan’s policies of investing in the military? Journalists have a responsibility to base their work on realities, not myths. Cam Bauer, HAYWARD, CALIF.

I’m disappointed that your cover story omitted the one Republican presidential candidate whose campaign is built on the very platform you claim conservatives wistfully long for: Representative Ron Paul of Texas. He is staunchly pro-life, and he advocates for smaller government, lower taxes and a humble foreign policy–the very points on which George W. Bush rode into office in 2000. Paul’s positions are backed by a legislative career that spans 30 years. If conservatives want a genuine conservative candidate again, they need look no further than Paul. Chris Coggins, MACON, GA.

Will TIME publish a cover image depicting John F. Kennedy crying over “How the Democrats Went Wrong?” I’m sure Kennedy believed it when he said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” But few contemporary Democrats have shown the will to apply his determination in Iraq. Mark Shreeve, DANDRIDGE, TENN.

Doing unto Others

Joe Klein’s column about Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee served up an excellent snapshot of today’s Republican way of thinking [March 26]. Republicans give tax breaks to oil companies that pocket record profits but scoff at a candidate who looks out for his fellow citizens. Honest Abe must spin in his grave every time the G.O.P. refers to itself as the party of Lincoln. Huckabee has little chance of getting the nomination with his do-unto-others mentality. That kind of thinking just doesn’t pass muster in today’s Republican Party. Mark McKay, PASCOAG, R.I.

What did Klein mean by arguing that the leading Republican candidates, with their multiple marriages, “live like liberals”? In 2004 the 13 states with the highest rates of divorce were red. The nine states with the lowest divorce rates were blue. Those Republican candidates Klein spoke of were living as typical conservatives–they marry, and marry often. William Ortenberg, BENICIA, CALIF.

Preaching and Practicing

Charles Krauthammer chided Al Gore and Hollywood for being less green than they claim [March 26]. I suggest that for Krauthammer’s next targets he look at more profound sources of the problem: auto companies that lobby to keep mileage standards low; energy companies that pay scientists to deny the human role in global warming; Vice President Dick Cheney, who pooh-poohed energy conservation and apparently met in secret with energy-company executives to create the country’s energy policy; and President George W. Bush, who reneged on his campaign promise to regulate carbon output. Krauthammer could also report his own carbon output and compare his efforts to curb global warming with those of Gore. (The Rev.) Kenneth Reeves, CONCORD, MASS.

Krauthammer made a good point. Â I’m a Los Angeles liberal, and I’ve also gone green. I no longer leave my Hummer idling while waiting for coffee in the dreary line at Starbucks. Paul Van Wart, LOS ANGELES

I agree that carbon credits are a weak attempt at offsetting emissions when what we should be doing is cutting emissions. But Krauthammer failed to mention the complete inaction of the conservative Administration. At least Gore is spreading the message that our planet needs saving. The U.S.’s failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and Bush’s empty words about stopping climate change identify where the real blame should be placed. Grace Hirt, MIDDLESEX, VT.

There is real value in celebrity “Greenstanding” about legitimate environmental problems. For some Americans, celebrity gossip is the only news they get. Maybe Hollywood can get through to them. We in the Western world need to wake up and realize we have a problem. We have to keep trying to educate everyone. Kimberly Johnson, HOUSTON

Inspiration from Our Youth

Caroline Kennedy’s report on children who volunteer for community service in the City Year Young Heroes program was inspiring and informative [March 26]. But let’s not forget the thousands of kids who crisscross the nation every summer to attend church work camps. These teens work in cities, towns and villages, building, painting and just plain helping people. The youngsters pay their own way, take their own tools and buy all the supplies. Theresa Lorbiecki, MILWAUKEE

Truth from a Rock

I was happy to see Chris Rock featured in 10 Questions [March 26]. He has been one of the most consistently funny and honest voices in U.S. pop culture over the past decade. But lately it seems every other punch line is about white people. Does he really think immigration can be reduced to “white people finding a loophole in slavery laws”–or was that a joke? Rock has demonstrated many times that he is smart. He doesn’t need to stay trapped in the punch lines of the 1970s. The truth would be funnier and more helpful to us all. Bryce Ingman, LOS ANGELES

TIME Turns Another Page

TIME’s redesigned layout is very slick but is reminiscent of New Coke [March 26]. If you remember, that product was eventually withdrawn in favor of the return of Classic Coke. Clear titles in the old format made it easy to pick out the articles of interest for immediate reading. Headings like Briefing and Dashboard are meaningless. I also miss the best of political cartoons and humor. Please bring back TIME Classic! Bob Gottesman, CAROLINA BEACH, N.C.

Kudos on your redesign. As a designer, I notice page layout as others might not, and your latest issue is everything I expect from TIME magazine–elegant, simple, unfussy and easy to read. Thanks for giving the rest of us a look to strive for. Kathy Barkey, ST. LOUIS, MISS.

At age 19, I realize I’m not close to TIME’s target demographic, but I have been a subscriber for a while and noticed the many formatting changes. I feel that readers have been robbed of a battle-tested magazine structure. I’m well aware that at this point, far too much money and time have been invested to revert to the old order, but the magazine now feels like a sellout to tabloid-size pictures and overzealous fonts. TIME can look forward, but don’t lose sight of what you have left behind. Jason Zimmerman, PITTSBURGH, PA.

Congratulations to all of you, especially Luke Hayman, Arthur Hochstein, Cynthia Hoffman and D.W. Pine. The new layout is beautiful, elegant and easy to read. Let us not go back to the hodgepodge it was in recent years. TIME readers are not people with millisecond attention spans. We can manage to read an entire story, even if it covers more than one page. We do not like to be fed abbreviated snippets. Thank you for the redesign. Ellen K. Parrella, NEWTOWN, CONN.

As Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I still prefer Letters over Inbox for your letters-to-the-editor column. Vicki Weintraub, AVENTURA, FLA.

Means of Prevention

Re the report on the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) [March 19]: With only minimal side effects, affordability and proof that it prevents cervical cancer, what young woman shouldn’t get Gardasil? I understand why some people would like schools to teach only abstinence, but it is hard to ignore how sexually active our young population is these days. It is astonishing to read the statistics on women with HPV. If more girls and young women were to get vaccinated, we could see a dramatic decrease in the incidence of HPv. Regardless of how effective the vaccine may be, we still must educate youngsters about the importance of protection against other sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Jennifer Rehberger, R.N., HIGHLAND, ILL.

I was deeply disturbed by the picture of three prepubescent girls in miniskirts. Parents, please do not allow your children to leave home looking like this. Not only does such clothing place a bull’s-eye on them for sexual predators, but it also encourages them to seek out the affirmation of boys at far too young an age. Help your young girls focus on building character, not a wardrobe meant to attract attention. Then maybe you wouldn’t have to worry so much about your 12-year-old contracting a sexually transmitted virus. Julie A. Outzen, ST. PAUL, MINN.

Hope in an Antihero

Mexican President Felipe Calderon projects an antihero image that contrasts sharply with the populist Presidents in Latin America [March 19]. It means that there is hope for Mexico to achieve social and economic growth without ruining its future. Rogelio Pardo-Evans, SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

Your report noted that Calderon wants to work with the U.S. to create jobs for rural Mexicans. As a legal immigrant to the U.S., I am sad that both the U.S. and Mexico exploit laborers who are desperate for jobs. Fix the fences, enforce immigration laws, and start treating people with respect and dignity. Kim Weidenbach, PASADENA, CALIF.

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