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Responsibility

July 21, 1994

* In James A. Baker III's "Confronting the Matter of Personal Responsibility" (Opinion, July 10), the key to reversing the slide in American morals and morale lies with the individual role model. Further, he lays blame for the "crisis in values" on the cultural relativism and moral permissiveness of the 1960s.

If historical memory serves me well, no President since Kennedy admitting his mistake in the Bay of Pigs fiasco has taken responsibility for the most horrendous crimes, i.e., Vietnam, welfarization and resulting destruction of families, high illiteracy among public school graduates, stagflation due to stupid government policies, deficits that threaten economic collapse, arms for hostages, etc. The savings-and-loan scandal occurred under Baker's watch as secretary of Treasury. Did he take any responsibility for that?

Politicians very publicly have someone else to blame like other politicians, the voters, the non-voters. Ultimately no one is really responsible because no one wants to suffer the consequences as individuals. So where are the role models that are the key to prevent moral decay? No comment!

THOMAS J. DOMINY

Pasadena

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