• U.S.

Letters: Dec. 10, 1984

8 minute read

Four More Years

To the Editors,

Ronald Reagan’s greatest service to the world has been his success at harnessing the American spirit [NATION, Nov. 19]. He has reawakened an awareness of human potential in a land that was infected by Watergate, Viet Nam and the Iranian hostage situation. America is back, and all the world now recognizes it.

Martyn Brown Shawnigan Lake, B.C.

Voters tend to elect Democratic Congressmen to get them goodies and Republican Presidents to protect them from other people’s Democratic Congressmen.

Taras Wolansky Kerhonkson, N. Y.

The Democratic Party leaders as well as the national media have insulted the voting public. Their rationale for the Reagan landslide is the President’s ability to charm voters and Walter Mondale’s inability to get his message across. At what point will these two groups admit that the majority of Americans support the President on the issues? The Mondale-Ferraro message was clearly heard, understood and overwhelmingly rejected.

Craig DuMez Brookfield, Wis.

As an American riving in Brazil, I felt great pride as I listened to Mondale’s concession speech. It was one of the most beautiful examples of our democracy in action. Brazilians were emotionally moved to hear the defeated candidate rally his adherents to support the newly re-elected President.

Donald E. Gall Manaus, Brazil

Mondale’s message to young voters was “come and join us.” Join whom? The only groups he ever mentioned were the hungry, the unemployed, the homeless, the discouraged, the depressed and the poor. Granted there are millions in those categories, but to the youth who are educated and employed, joining them would be a step down. The shining city on the hill read Republican.

John J. Kardas Latham, N. Y.

Unless the President’s incredible luck holds for another four years, his flawed foreign policy and destructive domestic course can only lead us to disaster.

Andrew W. Mungerson Oak Park, III.

I weep for my country.

Philip Berroll Los Angeles

Hugh Sidey’s column “When the Elite Loses Touch,” which attacked East Coast intellectuals’ support of the Democrats, neglects the fact that close to 37 million “plain people” in the electorate saw through the Reagan smokescreen of flag waving and good feeling. They realized that the President possesses no substance and voted for Mondale and Ferraro.

Thomas F. Budlong Jr. Decatur, Ga.

What is elitist about believing in the ERA, religious freedom, compassion for the poor, clean air, pro-choice on abortion and comparable pay for comparable work? Citizens who are concerned with these issues are responsible Americans.

Michele U. Farley West Hartford, Conn.

I do not know any East Coast intellectuals, but I know plenty of ordinary people who voted for Mondale. We range from musicians to accountants to retired schoolteachers.

Mary K. Trumble Austin

Hooray for Sidey’s reflection on the Reagan mandate. Now that history’s best-educated and best-informed voting public has exercised its independence, whom will these liberals speak to? Themselves?

Sally van Winkle Rohne Astoria, Ore.

If the voters in their infinite wisdom are always right, as Sidey suggests, how does he explain their choice of Richard Nixon, Herbert Hoover, Warren Harding and other disasters?

Irving Elman Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Sidey goes too far when he rhapsodizes over the wisdom of the plain people, whose voting preferences differed so sharply from those of America’s intellectuals. Was it wisdom that North Carolinians showed in returning Jesse Helms to the Senate? Better to see it for what it is, a mixture of prejudice, gullibility and fear.

Ted Klein

New York City

If Sidey will look at the popular vote, he will see that the out-of-touch “elite” he describes as favoring Mondale numbered in the millions. We voted for Mondale and Ferraro because they were intelligent, honorable, patriotic candidates.

John C. McLucas Baltimore

Theodore White, in his analysis “The Shaping of the Presidency 1984,” says Jesse Jackson’s campaign called for black separatism. But before condemning Jackson’s ideas, we should recall the price paid for the earlier triumphs of Roy Wilkins and Martin Luther King Jr. Many suffered and died to have those issues addressed. Perhaps if those same people had had better representation in government, which is what Jackson is seeking, they would be here to enjoy those victories.

Stanley U. Levy III Fairborn, Ohio

Man of the Year

For TIME’S Man of the Year: women.

Gary Dembs Southfield, Mich.

Jose Napoleon Duarte of El Salvador and Raúl Alfonsin of Argentina, two leaders who symbolize democracy, peace and social justice for Latin America.

Richard H. Ebright Boston

Andrei Gromyko, the dour and durable Soviet diplomat who has survived 40 years of purges, intrigue and cutthroat competition for power.

Joseph W. Romita Bakersfield, Calif.

Sally Ride, Geraldine Ferraro and the women of the XXIII Olympiad. Can there be any doubt that TIME’S choice should be the American woman?

Sally Larsen Tillamook, Ore.

David the bubble boy, who through his life showed us courage and through his death may have shown the way to prevent immune-deficiency disease.

Timothy Oliver San Diego

George Orwell, whose classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four has during this year affected all.

Abbi Rose New York City

Jesse Jackson is the Man of the Year for 1984, if not the Man of the Century.

Harriett Cotharn Chicago

I nominate John De Lorean for his courage in battling the Government.

James A. Torok Sparks, Nev.

White House Ivy

Your article on the durable Swedish ivy plant in the Oval Office [LIVING, Nov. 19] should have pointed out the likeliest reason for the plant’s vitality: life in a room with plenty of hot air.

Catherine Curtin Fenzel Eastchester, N. Y.

The plant looks a little bedraggled. Are you sure President Reagan hasn’t been cutting it back too?

Thomas J. Reardon Virginia Beach, Va.

Wouldn’t that dense ivy be a great place to hide a microphone?

Daniel J. Bader Seattle

I have ivy on my balcony. In this country, ivy is supposed to bring luck. I hope it does, for the U.S. and for me.

Maria S. de Gosztonyi La Pampa, Argentina

If only that plant could write a book.

Terry Austin North Hollywood, Calif.

Stalled Offensive

TIME’S article about the conflict between Iran and Iraq [WORLD, Oct. 29] is an echo of Iraqi propaganda. If “Iraqi morale is at a wartime high,” why would an Iraqi officer surrender to an Iranian photographer who was just “threatening” him with his camera? And if “Iran does not seem to be in a position to strike a conclusive blow,” why would Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ban the distribution of white undervests among his troops lest they should eventually use them to surrender?

Alt Rezaee Ministry of Islamic Guidance Tehran

Svetlana’s Return

Whatever Stalin’s daughter [WORLD, Nov. 12] may have said or done in the past, Svetlana’s return to the U.S.S.R. is a case of giving up freedom for love of grandchildren.

Carol Allison Rochester, N. Y.

It will be impossible for a 13-year-old American girl like Olga Peters to find comfort or happiness in the Soviet Union. Perhaps she will be clever enough to find her way to America, as her mother did in 1967.

Joel M. Sooby Sacramento

Right to Life

Great effort and cost went into extending Baby Fae’s life [MEDICINE, Nov. 12]. At the same time, thousands of Ethiopians, many of them children, are dying of starvation. How can we justify spending so much money on one baby when we could save hundreds with the same resources?

Verena Greig El Khobar, Saudi Arabia

go and Tell

Educating our children to protect themselves against sexual abuse [EDUCATION, Nov. 12] is commendable and necessary. However, the pendulum may be swinging too far in the other direction. It would be a tragedy to deny children the warmth of a relationship with a well-meaning adult like a neighbor who touches the youngster’s head or pats his back. Many people may now refrain from any contact with a child for fear of being branded an “Uncle Harry.”

Edward Ullmann Santa Rosa, Calif.

There is a danger in asking children to accuse an adult of child molesting. Any smart youngster with a sadistic bent and practical mind will find the opportunity to blackmail a loving uncle by reporting an imagined abuse.

Jacques Deriaud Noisy-Le-Grand, France

You included schools and homes as places to educate children about sexual abuse but failed to mention the church and synagogue. Sexual abuse causes spiritual as well as physical and emotional damage. Churches and synagogues can provide healing and forgiveness for victims and repentant abusers alike.

(The Rev.) Cinda W. Gorman El Cajon, Calif.

Speakers of Tongues

Your accolade to translators [BOOKS,

Nov. 19] is the kind of notice those solitary

and devoted literary artists seldom receive.

A. Leslie Willson Austin

To appreciate the fine art of translation and its many complexities, one must learn a foreign language well: an experience that few Americans have had.

Lois Vines Athens, Ohio

Translators bring us more than literary treasures. They transmit technology and make it possible to conduct business and diplomacy between nations. It is a shame their efforts, talents and dedication bring them so little in the way of recognition and financial reward.

Henry C. Hinds El Paso

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