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Letters: Left, right and America's path

April 27, 2013

Re "'Right wing' doesn't equal 'terrorist,'" Opinion, April 23

The American right wing is filled with people who have a visceral reaction to the changes taking place in this country. Many are angry that a black man is president, that immigrants live among them, that gays may be allowed to marry, that their gun ownership may be limited and that "elitist" liberals write laws.

Jonah Goldberg thinks it was outrageous initially to entertain the possibility that the Boston bombing was a right-wing plot. The attack occurred on Patriots' Day in a city known for its political liberalism. Ignoring the possibility of right-wing involvement would not only have been ignorant but also a disservice to national security.

Thomas Bailey

Long Beach

Goldberg's effort to paint the 1920s as a conservative paradise by skewering an FDR speech had the benefit of pointing me to the president's magnificent 1944 State of the Union address. It shows how thoroughly the "spirit of fascism" that prevailed in the 1920s, in the form of "unregulated free market corporatism," has returned to America.

As FDR noted, America after the Depression understood that "necessitous men are not free men."

It was this understanding that for decades gave us the greatest prosperity for the greatest number.

Now, "Reagan revolutionized" Americans seem to believe that "government-regulated, unarmed corporations are not free people." It is this understanding that has given us the current era of the greatest prosperity for the fewest number — an echo of the 1920s.

Richard S. Marken

Los Angeles

Goldberg makes some good points about the left's demonizing of the right, but the examples he lists pale in comparison to the red-baiting of the last 100 years. "Left wing" doesn't mean "communist." And I haven't noticed any liberals stocking up on guns and ammo.

Which has more faith in our democracy, the left or the right?

Frank J. Gruber

Santa Monica


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