Regarding Dinesh D'Souza's June 7 Opinion piece, "A child of the 'Reagan revolution' grateful for inheritance": In death as in life, Ronald Reagan, with his legacy of image triumphing over reality, still exerts a forceful grip on the American people and the media.
We certainly owe it to his memory to acknowledge the contributions he made. Most notable was the message of hope, optimism, and high spirits that he exemplified to the nation and the world. Yet we would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge the price we have paid for Reagan's policies.
As William R. Pitt has explained, Reagan "made Americans feels good about acting against their own best interests." From initiating media deregulation, to weakening environmental regulations for the benefit of corporate interests, to dismantling social programs that protect the weakest segments of society, to the scores of officials who were investigated, indicted, or convicted in the Iran-contra affair, let us never forget the darker side of this legacy.
In your June 8 article "Worldviews: Reagan and Bush" I was disappointed to read, "The Bush administration sees a threat to the nation's very existence in terrorism, and has vowed to use all means at its disposal to defeat it. Due to circumstances, and perhaps temperament, it is a darker vision of the world than the one Reagan appeared to hold."
President Bush has consistently been optimistic that there can be peace in the Middle East and that the Iraqi people can build a free nation that will be an agent of change in the region. The media have characterized this hope-filled attempt to bring freedom to a region that is a greenhouse for terrorism as a Vietnam-like, dying-for-nothing war. This war is an effort to bring peace and freedom to the Middle East. It's not fearful peacekeeping at the expense of liberty and hope. I only hope that more people are thinking and investigating for themselves, not merely accepting media reports.
Mary Ann Stroven