[Read "Reagan Worship," by Eric Boehlert.]
Eric Boehlert's piece on Reagan was a dash of vinegar into what has been a solid week of undiluted treacle posing as journalism. Thank God it's Friday because my arms are tired from covering my ears and yelling "Blah, blah, blah" for the past six days.
Reagan never gave me the "city on the hill" feeling; he scared the crap out of me. His "Evil Empire" tropes left me, 9 years old when he reached office, quivering with fear from nightmares of nuclear obliteration and Soviet invasion.
What Reagan did give me was cynicism toward my government. At 14, I watched the Iran-Contra hearings with a creeping sense of mortification: What if you had a national scandal and nobody came? How could Americans forgive Reagan's obdurate shredding of the Constitution -- no matter how much they adored his "aw shucks" attitude liberally smeared with "give 'em hell" impulses?
It made me sick to see this goofball get softball treatment from everyone, especially the media. His "I can't recall" mantra, repeated an astounding 340 times regarding his actions in Iran-Contra, sliced though the faith I had in America as a philanthropic, altruistic entity.
-- Sarah Kelleher
The country is involved in an undeclared and increasingly unpopular war that has cost hundreds of United States lives, but one would never know it from the "Reagan remembered" stories mainstream media are disgorging.
During the last few days, America has canonized Ronald Reagan instead of presenting a respectful but fair assessment of his presidency. The media should give the man his due, and the country should give him his state funeral, but is it necessary to mythologize him?
Carefully staged photographs, fawning press coverage, interviews with breathless and sobbing mourners, a dead body flying from coast to coast and back again -- these rituals seem to be necessary for the contemporary American psyche, but it's all a bit much.
-- Kathleen Keefe
[Read "Nader's Republican Pipe Dream," by Peter Dizikes.]
Peter Dizikes challenges Nader's claim that he'll draw votes away from Bush. Yet his own evidence is that he personally didn't meet anybody who would vote for Bush if Nader didn't run. This sort of thinking has come to be known as "O'Reilly Factor Logic."
It may be of interest to many of Salon's readers to know that, in his bid to reach out to dissatisfied conservatives (a move that John "Mr. NAFTA" Kerry is unable to make), Nader will be appearing in this month's issue of the American Conservative where he's interviewed by none other than Pat Buchanan.
If Kerry and Bush supporters think that their candidates could have answered these questions better than Ralph did, then, by all means, vote for either George or John. If they don't, there are some questions that they need to ask themselves.
-- Rodney Linderman
I just read Peter Dizikes' article "Nader's Republican Pipe Dream," and, like a good independant thinker, did a little research. First, I noticed that www.republicansfornader.com is unregistered, while www.republicansfornader.org is completely blank; no one has even taken the time to cyber-squat there.
Then I tried something else, a little experiment you can repeat yourself if you're so inclined. Here's what you do: Type "Republicans for Nader" into Google and read the link descriptions. Then do the same thing for Kerry, Dean, Clark, etc. While the more marginalized candidates had little to go on, even Carol Moseley-Braun had a stronger showing than Nader.
How much more does it take to prove that this guy is throwing support to Bush?
-- James Cabot
The only people I know who are definitely voting for Nader in November are registered Republicans. They want to reject their party's candidate, but can't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat.
They are not political activists and you will not find them at Nader meetups, so I'm not surprised that Boehlert didn't find them during his rather limited search.
Nader has enriched the public discourse already by talking about corporate corruption and his principled objection to the war in Iraq. Meanwhile, the "liberals" favored by the media always portray Iraq as a good idea poorly executed.
The mainstream press wouldn't be giving any coverage to these important issues if it weren't for the juicy Nader "spoiler" story. Why, then, is Salon so eager to have Nader silenced?
-- Rachel King