Tom Carson's "Death of a Salesman: 1911-2004" [June 9-15] received a tremendous amount of mail. A selection of the more interesting letters follows.
No Rights for the Left
You state that Ronald Reagan demolished the American left. Who are you then, the last liberal standing? I usually can read most of the manure you guys publish, but for this, I can't muster the strength. What whining and moaning, not to mention poisonous trash, this article contains. What really kills me about liberals like you is that if you were living under someone like Fidel Castro you would be in jail or worse for your comments. However, in this country that you harbor such contempt for, you are free to preach your hateful rhetoric.
Reagan used to be a Democrat, but fortunately, he saw the failing of a party that taxes relentlessly to form a society that is overly dependent on welfare programs. Obviously, one of the greatest characteristics of America is that you are free to speak your opinions. I'm just not so sure that I'd do everything in my power to defend your right to do so.
Here on Planet Earth
I would like to thank Tom Carson for his article. I feel like I've been living in some sort of alternate universe for the past four days. It is sad that our nation's journalists are so bored with the truth and horrors of the Iraq war that they have decided to join in the collective deification of a terrible president.
It was refreshing to finally hear an accurate description of what life under Reagan was like. Kudos to Carson for not being a reactionary seeking to demonize Reagan. That would have been misplaced. Instead he thoughtfully articulated what Reagan should be remembered for, his ability to sell.
Los Angeles, California
You pompous, idiotic, ignorant fools! How dare you print such a story with the family and nation grieving? Could you not even wait until he was buried?
This man is responsible for the end of the Cold War and the improvement of the economy. He may go down as one of the greatest presidents this great nation has ever had. Don't print any more of your poison. You have no right to call yourselves Americans.
The analysis on Reagan's passing misses the point. Not only was Reagan not responsible for the demise of the Soviets, but there is good reason to believe that he and others like him actually prolonged the Soviet Union. Communism imploded not because of Reagan but in spite of him.
The demise of the Soviet Union was due to people power. The people of the USSR were envious of the Western way of life. But not of the U.S. model, with its high levels of poverty and urban unrest, but rather the Western European model in nations such as Germany and the Netherlands that were able to provide Levi's jeans and Coca-Cola while also providing free dental services.
What Reagan did not understand was that by reducing taxes for the rich and funneling the remaining money toward defense, a high level of poverty became ingrained into the American social fabric. Once Western Europe demonstrated capitalism was possible without the grinding poverty of the U.S. model, the wall came down.In all likelihood Reagan and like-minded neocons from the military-industrial complex were responsible for extending the Soviet Union a good 20 years beyond its historical use-by date.
I would imagine that you were in a state of near ecstasy when you penned that vile, hate-filled mock eulogy of Ronald Reagan. It is a page right out of the leftist handbook on why hatred is bad for everyone else, but good for liberals. Not only do you violate one of the basic principles of a civilized society, respect for the dead, but you fail to see the utter hypocrisy of your point of view. It is poetic justice that you and others of your ilk continue to expose their true hatefulness, and consequently drive more nails into the coffin of their own odious ideology. All the while, they continue to tell themselves, and more pitifully, to actually believe, that they are compassionate and progressive in their beliefs.
It should come as no surprise that Reagan's star in Hollywood is the most defiled by urine and vomit, since urine and vomit seem to be the best arguments that radical leftists are able to offer these days.
The fundamental conservative doctrine that "government is the problem," as espoused by Ronald Reagan, is neither conservative nor American for that matter. It expresses an attempt not to conserve but to destroy the founding principle that American government is an entity of, by, and for the people.
The truth hidden by the phrase "smaller government" is that Reaganomics never made the government smaller, but rather, it created larger tax cuts for the very rich and created a slush fund for the Defense Department, which hasn't been able to balance its books for years. The things that did shrink in the conservative mantra of "deregulation," however, were the laws designed to protect Americans from the crooks who sit on the boards of the world's largest corporations.
Americans have never really quite bought into Reaganomics. That is why you hear so much praise of his personality instead of his policy. There was always something fishy about the arguments that tried to persuade the average working-class American to support the demise of organized labor and the exporting of higher-paying manufacturing jobs overseas. That is why conservatives always have to be on a crusade against some evil empire or axis of evil with WMDs, lest the faithful start asking questions about their ridiculous policies.
TOM L. WINBURN
Time After Time
Anyone can write hate-filled dribble, that is, anyone without any morality, which is typical of a loony liberal like Carson. A hundred years from now, when someone mentions President Reagan, history will remember him as one of our greatest presidents. In 25 years, no one will remember or care for Tom Carson in the slightest way, shape, or form.
Howard Air Force Base, Panama
Doom: The Leftist Mood
Your hatchet job on Ronald Reagan provides further validation that monuments are never erected to memorialize critics. Yellow journalism has reached a new low with this bacteria count on the milk of human kindness. Those of your ilk are so jaded by their anti-Judeo-Christian worldview, that they look upon patriotism, truth, decency, and principled standards of behavior as weaknesses of the human condition.
You may be able to sell your buffalo chips to the Michael Moore look-alikes in your reading audience, but they don't pass the smell test with those Americans who refuse to be seduced by the leftist prophets of doom and gloom.
I have the same reaction to Bush Jr. as I did to Reagan: Renew my passport. Fine piece about a giant liar who fooled himself and couldn't be held accountable because he was so convincingly sincere.
Los Angeles, California
Mr. Nunneley, Tear Down This Wall
Whether you like or dislike Reagan's politics, he had a positive influence on our world. He changed East Germany from a nation that shot its own citizens as they tried to leave into a nation that tore down its Berlin Wall and rejoined greater Germany. You gain nothing by showing the world that you can be petty and small by attacking a man who is no longer alive to defend himself.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.