• U.S.

Letters, Dec. 4, 1972

8 minute read

America’s Proper Course

Sir / The elections [Nov. 20] prove once again that the majority of the people in this country are not going to tolerate extremes on either end of the spectrum. The people have shown that this country will continue to be governed on a moderate basis, with forces from both left and right acting in balance to steer America on its proper course.

And what is so bad about that?

DONALD F. GODELL Dearborn, Mich.

Sir / The most uncomfortable aspect of the presidential election was the unfortunate reality that over 20 million people actually voted for George McGovern. We can only hope that these voters were taken in by his good looks and personality rather than by any of his screwball ideas.

J. THOMAS LIGHT Lime Rock, Conn.

Sir / Of course it was a mandate. Not to the President, but to the Democratic Party. It said: “Don’t ever do that to us again.”


Sir / McGovern believed Americans were good and decent people, with a respect for human life. He found the real America on Nov. 7.


Sir / Four more years of hypocrisy, duplicity, and the cult of presidential personality. Four more years. God help us!


Sir / I think for those of us who believed in George McGovern, supported him and worked for him, he has still gained a victory. He taught us knowledge of the issues, he showed us that understanding goes a long way, and he gave us a glimmer of hope that change was and is possible. Thank you, Senator, and in 1976 we will try again, remembering what you’ve taught us.

CINDY J. MORALES Santa Monica, Calif.

Sir / Thank God it’s over!


Those Who Love Jonathan

Sir / Jonathan Livingston Seagull [Nov. 13] has been taken into the hearts of people at this point because it’s time for the next move forward in consciousness. Jonathan provides the blueprint for the new age of awareness, and we the people have only to build upon the ideas and ideals he represents. The still, small voice of each of us who love Jonathan recognizes this fact.


Sir / Why do I love Jonathan Livingston Seagull? I am a teen-ager growing up in a world of hate and intolerance. Jonathan Seagull simply makes me happy.


Sir / Putting Jonathan Livingston Seagull into the hands of the irresponsible masses makes Author Bach a candidate for public spanking. He has simplistically watered down the problem of 20th century man at the edge of the abyss with the admonition to “do your own thing.”

The perfectibility of the individual in the midst of mankind’s obvious state of imperfection is an old myth that reaches a dead end in much of our literary heritage. Marlowe, Goethe, Blake and Melville were all aware of the Jonathans and the problems they did not answer.

Will Jonathan L. Seagull fly into the maw of the great white 747? Ahab is at it again, only this time in the air.


Sir / I enjoyed the cover story on high-flying Author Richard Bach, but I think a dip of the wings is in order for Russell Munson.

Surely Munson’s beautiful photography helped Jonathan Livingston Seagull take flight.


Sir / While Mr. Seagull is up and flying free, Mrs. Seagull seems well grounded. I would like to know if the grounded seagull might want to be free to fly and give her opinions about Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Or is Mrs. Seagull the one who is really free?

MRS. ROBERT W. MEYER Delaware, Ohio

Sir / Jonathan Livingston Seagull is, indeed, a hot article. Seeing some implications for churchgoers, I preached a sermon called “Jonathan Livingston Christian” to a near-record crowd.

Never has a sermon been so well received. Women kissed and hugged me. Last week I preached it on a college campus and the students applauded. That was a first for me in 20 years of preaching.

(THE REV.) KENNETH S. JONES Faith United Methodist Church Rockville, Md. P.S. I am a pilot too.

Get Up Earlier

Sir / I take issue with your article “Seize the Day” [Nov. 13] advocating year-round Daylight Saving Time. Far more people than TIME realizes start work at 8 a.m. or earlier. D.S.T. would have these people awakening and commuting in the dark six months of the year. Those interested in year-round D.S.T. should start their day one hour earlier.


Sir / Bravo on your article “Seize the Day.” As one who lives on the extreme Eastern Seaboard (Cape Cod), I find myself driving home from work in the dark at 4:30 p.m. And the winter solstice is still weeks away.

JOHN J. DINGESS Pocasset, Mass.

Sir / Why not have Daylight Saving Time all year, my foot!

It is far better to come home after a hard day’s work to a cheery, well-lit home than to leave for that hard day’s work in the dead of night.


The Winner

Sir / There was an article in your Modern Living section [Oct. 23] about neon signs. It reported that one sign read “Lazzara for Senator,” and the article went on to say that the shopowner did not know whether he won or lost.

Please be advised that I won!

JOSEPH A. LAZZARA State Senator Paterson, N.J.

A Weekend at Mar-A-Lago

Sir / Regarding Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post’s bequeathing as a presidential hideaway [Nov. 13] her estate, Mar-A-Lago, to the U.S. Government, I have a suggestion. Why not permit everybody who lives in a slum or a trailer park or sleeps in relatives Hide-a-Beds during the year to spend a weekend at Mar-A-Lago?

DAWN CURRA Tarzana, Calif.

Sir / Your Oct. 30 issue, in reviewing the past session of Congress, states, “Important bills died, several for want of White House support. Among the victims: . . . A massive highway bill, with riders that would have permitted the funding of mass-transit systems with money now set aside exclusively for highway construction (the President did not support the mass-transit amendments).”

The Administration, with the strong personal support of President Nixon himself, vigorously sponsored and supported legislation which would have introduced flexibility into the existing uses of the highway trust fund, for the first time enabling local and state decision makers to utilize a portion of that money for bus and rail transit purposes as well as traditional highway construction.

Let me conclude by stating our commitment to resume in the next session of Congress our efforts to make transportation funding more rational and responsive to the needs of our people in both urban and rural areas.

JOHN A. VOLPE Secretary of Transportation Washington, D.C.

∎ John Volpe and others in the Administration were indeed in favor of breaking out highway trust funds for mass transit. What they were unalterably opposed to was the use of highway funds as operating subsidies for mass-transit operations—and the bill included this provision when, with Administration approval, it was killed.

Man of the Year

Sir / I nominate Shirley Chisholm as national Woman of the Year and Indira Gandhi as international Woman of the Year.

MICHAEL KENNEY Yap, Western Caroline Islands

Sir / Man of the Year: Avery Brundage, the last of true idealists!

TORBJORN SUNDBLOM Mariehamn, Finland

Sir / For Man of the Year: Senator Thomas Eagleton. During the incredible last week of July, he stood alone and singlehanded against the common enemy of millions of us—the ancient devil-myths we had thought long moribund but found suddenly rampant in frightful force and ferocity.


Sir / I nominate Ramsey Clark for TIME’S Man of the Year for 1972, and for the Lenin Medal for his outstanding service to world Communism while in Hanoi.

J.K. LAYTON Paint Lick, Ky.

Sir / The honor should go to Sheik Mujib.

His voice started a rebellion that ended in the birth of Bangladesh. He freed seven crores of people from the chains of slavery. He gave them a motherland.

ANIS UR RAHMAN Jhelum, West Pakistan

Sir / As Man of the Year I nominate the terrorist, who is found in all areas of the world.

He shoots Governor Wallace during the U.S. presidential campaign. He is on both sides of the conflict in Ireland. He kills in the airport at Tel Aviv, at Munich during the Olympic Games. He skyjacks planes all over the world.

He walks the city streets.

NANCY B. NEELY Telford, Pa.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com