Your article "Final Iran-Contra Report Refuses to Exonerate Reagan" (Part I, Nov. 18) saddened me immensely. Ronald Reagan was twice elected by the American people. All of his salient personal and political characteristics have been clearly delineated and lovingly fawned upon by the media. The newly current idea that he has somehow deceived and misled the electorate is as ludicrous as it is tragic.
At all times during the past eight years Reagan's cruel agenda, his Machiavellian methods, and above all his ideology were in plain view and remained vivid to everyone.
Now we witness the pathetic spectacle of a congressional committee attempting to thinly spread blame for the corrupt mindlessness of the Iran-Contra affair--a scandal that has reduced the worldwide influence of the United States to a depth heretofore unseen. Such self-righteousness is as misplaced as it is delusive.
It is not Ronald Reagan but the atrophy of the democratic process that should elude exoneration. We seek scapegoats for our own failings because our own apathy and venality look so much more palatable when they are conveniently attributed to a few misguided individuals operating under delusions of authoritarian grandeur. What has become of the conscience and autonomy of "we the people?" What has happened to the sense of individual responsibility which is the mandatory prerequisite of real democracy? One can only wonder where the buck will finally stop. After all, thanks to the policies of Reagan, a dollar really isn't worth much anymore.
JAMES D. HIMMELSBACH