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Conservatives and Liberals

October 15, 1987

I find myself confused by James Nelson (Letters, Oct. 2). He doesn't like name-calling--who does?--yet he starts with the word "liberal," which has been a largely meaningless epithet since the Nixon Adminstration--it applies to anyone who does not totally agree with the Nixon-Reagan agenda.

He finds moral arguments "snobbish" and complains of personal attacks, yet he offers no example of such a state of affairs. I cannot imagine how it is possible to "shout down" any opponent in print, nor have I seen that many examples of polite logic from the true believers on the right.

We cannot use "conservative" as an epithet because we are more interested in preserving our constitutional checks and balances from an imperial presidency than they are. Neither do we understand why it is right to condemn Pearl Harbor and Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf, while applauding President Reagan's Grenada attack and the U.S. mining of a Nicaraguan harbor. We are supposed to find no fault from Watergate to contragate.

Perhaps Nelson would be good enough to suggest an epithet we might use in return. "Fascist" is one word that comes to mind.

EDWARD B. KEELEY

Sunland

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