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'Wanted: a Leader'

February 22, 1987

Your editorial (Feb. 13), "Wanted: a Leader," makes one pause and wonder. Are you being serious or sardonic?

You open with, "Someone needs to seize control of the White House and there is just one person who can do it. Ronald Reagan."

This is followed by, "There is one person who can stop the Administration's slide into the quagmire of disarray, indecision and drift!" And you say, "Only one man can bring together an Administration at war with itself all over the lot on issues like the Strategic Defense Initiative, the ABM treaty, catastrophic health care and a host of others: Ronald Reagan."

"No one is asking for miracles," you state. But let us be realistic--that is what you are asking for: miracles.

By any stretch of the imagination can anyone realistically expect Ronald Reagan to change his stripes any more than a tiger can?

You want a President who emerges from the dark isolation of the White House to square with the American people on the Iran arms deal, to demonstrate that he knows what went wrong and where and tell us what has been done to correct the defects. What defects? There were none--everything was done for the "good" of all of us, according to the White House.

You want him to come to the realization that the risks of the SDI proposals threatens any prospects for real arms control.

Who? Ronald Reagan?

You want him to deal pragmatically with Congress on the budget deficit, the trade imbalance and the economy in general.

Who? Ronald Reagan?

You certainly cannot be serious.

Can a man, now 76, change the habits and viewpoints he has had for most, if not all his life?

This editorial of yours is certainly not being realistic. You seem to believe that a miraculous change will change our present "leader" into a diametrically opposite creature, who magically, suddenly, sees the errors of his ways, all his past thinking, and will like a bolt of lightning see the "light" and become a totally different individual.

I am quite frankly puzzled, bewildered, surprised at your pious thinking that a "new" Ronald Reagan will emerge from the present ashes in which he is being smothered.

JACK H. CHESNER

North Hollywood

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