- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ronald Reagan’s legacy

During Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate from South Carolina (“GOP candidates trade barbs,” Page 1, Friday), John McCain, Rudolph Giuliani, Ron Paul, et al. mentioned the “Reagan revolution” nearly every time they answered a question.

Obviously, each of the GOP contenders is trying to persuade rank-and-file voters that he is the second coming of Ronald Reagan. If true, here’s my question: Does anyone think there is a Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney revolution in the making?

It’s one thing to talk about one’s conservative values. It’s another thing to pretend you are the rightful heir to Mr. Reagan’s legacy. I’d like each of the six presidential candidates to think about this before their next public appearance.

A. L. CYNTON



Laguna Beach, Calif.

I’m a Generation Y child. I grew up in a time of expanding technology and changing cultural values, as a man such as Mr. Reagan served our country as president, and as Bill Clinton desecrated the sanctity of that position.

I’ve breathed a sigh of relief when my brother didn’t have to go to the first Gulf war, and I watched in horror as the Twin Towers fell on national television. After all I’ve seen and lived through, I’ve come to one conclusion.

There’s no one I’d rather have for president in 2008 than Fred Thompson.

I have a core set of beliefs that govern my actions: Abortion is wrong; freedom is good. Charity and aid to those less fortunate are our duties, and most rules were made for a reason, and should, with very few exceptions, be adhered to.

I think that all people have been given rights and privileges by God and that we should attempt to safeguard these against those who would try to take them away.

This year, I’m looking for a candidate who is not afraid to stand up to protect our rights and will not waver just because someone disagrees with him. That’s why I’m casting my vote for Mr. Thompson.

Why is the presidential election of 2008 so important to me? Because I want to ensure that my 4-month-old daughter’s America is even better than mine.

I want her to have a leader that she can grow up under, look back on, and be proud of. I want her to rest secure in the knowledge that her government will be working to serve the people’s interest, not just its own. I want her to have a Mr. Reagan, just like I had.

MANDY GOFF

Greenville, S.C.

The Jewish refugee problem

While President Bush sees the plight of the Palestinians (“Bush sees plight of Palestinians,” Page 1, Friday), perhaps he should consider the nearly 1 million Jews who were forced to flee penniless from their homes in Arab lands as an aftermath of the Arab-instigated war in 1948. Compare that to about half the number of Palestinian Arabs who left voluntarily, for the most part, from Israel during the same conflict.

If he wants to consider compensation for refugees displaced during the 1948 Arab war against Israel, he should urge the Arab nations that forcibly expelled nearly 1 million Jews from their homelands to reimburse these individuals who left penniless under threat of death. These Jews from Arab lands have never been recognized nor compensated, either by the international community or by the Arab nations that seized their property and forced them to flee in fear for their lives.

The refugee problem works both ways. Compensation for Palestinian Arabs who left Israel certainly should be balanced by even greater reimbursement for the larger number of Arab Jews expelled from Arab nations.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring

Fred and Mitt still alive

The Republican presidential nomination process has been hijacked by the media and a bunch of independents or so-called moderates.

All the ridiculous talk about Mitt Romney being finished or Fred Thompson being finished (“S.C., Michigan last stand for GOP candidates,” Page 1, Thursday) is ludicrous.

People all over this country, particularly in the West and South, are very supportive of Mr. Romney and Mr. Thompson. I do not care what the polls say.

As we have seen in 2000, 2004 and now in 2008, the polls and pundits are dangerously inaccurate and should be ignored by the electorate.

I believe there are many people who believe as I do. I am a proud Mississippian and a proud American who just happens to be a proud conservative Republican.

I resent being told who I should support. I respect John McCain’s military service and his stance on the war, but that is it. I do not agree with him on anything else, nor do I think he has the temperament to be president. I already have a priest; I don’t need Mike Huckabee.

If the flawed process brings Mr. McCain or Mr. Huckabee as the leaders to the convention, we should have a rebellion. If the media wants Mr. McCain or Mr. Huckabee, that should alert all Republicans: This means war.

DEBBIE GAMBLIN

Brandon, Miss.

Reform and its foes

Michelle A. Rhee, chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools, and Cathy L. Lanier, chief of the D.C. Police Department, are fighting for the welfare of the District’s children and the citizens under their charge (“Rhee granted firing authority,” and “Police union slams Lanier,” Metro, Wednesday).

Their opponents are two entrenched public unions who resist performance expectations and reforms even their membership would likely wish to pursue.

This isn’t a fight over pay or benefits, or even employment security, which their membership deserves. It is the preservation of high privileges that deny the public what it pays for; that is, a good public education and safety in the streets.

In education, the union agreed to let the chancellor fire nonperforming or redundant staff who are not members of their union. They accept reform so long as it represents no skin off their noses.

On the same page, the police union cries foul because Chief Lanier wants to work staff on patrol shifts on weekends, except on “declared emergencies” as their contract stipulates.

Maybe, but why is such a privilege in working conditions part of the contract? More important, is the fact that D.C. has one of the worst records of public safety not an emergency? Does such an emergency need a “declaration” when it is an obvious fact?

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has done well to hire and hold senior staff like the chancellor and the chief to manage the public’s business. He now needs the resolve to back them with the power of his office and the political backbone it will take to let these unions know they do not run the city.

JAIME L. MANZANO

Bethesda

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