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Mourning and Politics Mix in America

June 07, 2004

I found your Sunday editorial on President Reagan's passing typical of a "left of center" newspaper that would negate his contributions to America and instead focus on its own liberal, biased point of view of his great achievements.

You give short shrift to Reagan's premier accomplishment of bringing down communism and instead focus most of your editorial on the relatively few negative episodes in his presidency. He wasn't perfect. But he was a lot closer to perfect than Bill Clinton ever was or will be. Ronald Reagan will go down in history as one of our greatest presidents, in spite of what the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times believes.

Robert Liljenwall

Santa Ana Heights

After reading The Times' disgraceful hatchet job on President Reagan in the form of your June 6 editorial, one would have to come to the conclusion that the 40th president was a lucky actor who never accomplished much, except to show fiscal irresponsibility and a disregard for caring about the common person in America. He was a disastrous leader, in the pocket of the rich and a failure as president, despite his enormous popularity with a duped American public, according to The Times.

The editorial failed to acknowledge that Reagan is globally respected across the political, economic, age and racial spectrum for believing in a positive vision for America, which The Times rarely writes about. President Reagan continually spoke of and inspired the country's inner strengths and enduring commitment to freedom.

The Times has displayed one of the most blatant examples of bias and utter contempt for one of the country's greatest leaders. The Times' editorial management is once again exposed as truly lacking something that Reagan had a great amount of, character and humility.

Ron and Judy O'Neal

Sherman Oaks

My tears are and were for the hundreds of thousands of Americans with HIV on whom Reagan turned his back. I weep for the scores and scores of men whose names, one by one, I blacked out of my address book. At a time when he could have shown real leadership in the face of a crisis, Reagan could not even say the word "AIDS" publicly his first four years in office. So, to paraphrase Bette Davis: If you can't say something good about the dead, don't say anything at all. Ronald Reagan's dead. Good.

Philip Hitchcock

Venice

There's one Reagan legacy I'm reminded of daily in every major city: visible homelessness. Go back to 1980, before Reagan took office, and look for images and evidence of vast numbers of American citizens living on the streets. By 1985, the start of Reagan's second term, vast numbers of homeless were everywhere all the time. We no longer feared mutually assured destruction but merely walking down the street after work.

Kirk Knight

Alameda, Calif.

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