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To Some, a Giant; to Others, a Big Spender

June 10, 2004

As the public and pundits contemplate the quality of Ronald Reagan's presidency, it occurs to me that whether you believe he was a giant or less than great depends on what you believe is the role of a president. If you believe, as do most of us, that the responsibility of that office is to inspire the public, to lead, to instill pride in our citizenship, to set a standard of national morality and character and to engender respect for the office, then by any reasonable judgment Reagan was a giant.

Richard Arroyo

Beverly Hills

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It makes me so angry when I read the revisionist history that has been touted about Reagan. His tax cuts came at a time when our economy was in a disastrous state. Liberals screamed that the tax cuts he proposed would destroy the country. Even today, when the liberal media talk about Reagan's tax cuts they focus on the deficits that ensued but do not mention that the result of the tax cuts was a huge surge in economic growth (as Reagan predicted). Yet the media focus on the deficits. The truth is, if your income doubles, as it did for the federal government, and your deficits increase at the same time, it is a spending problem, not an income problem. Tax cuts worked then and they are working now.

David Brisco

Newport Beach

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Though Reagan's death marks the end of an era in our history, it also begins the process of honoring his legacy. A man who has won such a warm place in the hearts of Americans deserves a tribute on both a grand and eternal scale. I propose we name the national debt in his honor.

Eric Danhof

Upland

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Wasn't it the Reagan administration that supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq's war against Iran? Wasn't it during the Reagan administration that the country learned of Iran-Contra? Did not Reagan call the Vietnam War a "noble cause"? And who was that U.S. president who stood in a cemetery for Nazi SS soldiers in Bitburg, West Germany? Anyone know the answers to those questions?

Herman Seiser

West Hollywood

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I just loved all the perfect people shooting their acid criticism at Reagan. He served us well and, like all humans, wasn't perfect. How polarized we are today that we cannot just wish his family and his name well as he moves on.

Jamie Kellner

Santa Barbara

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Reagan's death has provoked an outpouring of apotheosizing from the media. In Catholic countries, the death of politicians rarely provokes inane confusions of the secular and the sacred; however, in the United States, which is of Protestant background, it invariably does. Americans need to see in their leaders vessels of the sort of virtue that Catholic culture usually discerns only in saints and in some pontiffs.

Marco-Antonio Loera

Inglewood

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Like many of the people of the country, Reagan made me proud about being an American. He won the Cold War, and time will prove his legacy as being one of the nation's best presidents. For all of his contributions to our country, I would like to see his likeness added to Mt. Rushmore.

Tom Kumura

Vista

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I suspect there are plenty of us out here who did not adore Reagan in life and do not adore him now ("Adoring Public Says Goodbye to Reagan," June 8). We are getting tired of the wall-to-wall coverage of his passing. The coverage reminds me of that of media outlets in fascist countries when some "beloved dictator" dies. Enough.

Russ Nichols

Los Angeles

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What was the genius of Reagan? He understood and played to the patriotism of working men and women in order to protect and make respectable the greed of the wealthy. He was plutocracy's Trojan horse to the nation.

Michael H. Weinberg

Pasadena

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Reagan's political mutation from staunch Democrat to committed Republican reflects my own transformation in the same direction. As Reagan often stated, and I attest, the Democratic Party left us, we didn't leave it. May God look kindly upon this giant of the 20th century.

John Hernandez

Claremont

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In Reagan we have lost a respected conservative. In California and in Washington, I worked as a Young Republican for Reagan and "conservative" causes -- but no longer. The word has increasingly come to represent hostile partisanship, crippling insolvency, arrogance and blind insensitivity to the plight of the average American. Let's hope for an early return to the values that founded the GOP, so that more former loyalists won't have to follow the exodus of party moderates who have been driven by conscience to abandon the cause.

Roger A. Wells

Manhattan Beach

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