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Gorbachev and the Summit

December 20, 1987

As a life-long Democrat who has never said or thought anything complimentary about Reagan, I was given some food for reevaluation the other day when a Republican friend of mine said: "You know, conservatives have their purposes. In the same way that no Democratic President could have brought about the rapprochement with China that Richard Nixon did without being slaughtered in the public opinion polls, Ronald Reagan has been able to do what Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson would never have dared to do in his dealings with Gorbachev."

I am not totally certain that this is inarguably true but I am willing to confess it probably is. In any case it really makes no difference. What does make a difference is that we have at least the beginning of a process, however shaky, that offers a chance of stopping the suicidal nuclear arms race. For that chance I am grateful to Reagan. I hasten to add I would still never vote for him.

BEN IRWIN

Studio City

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