Originally created 04/03/00

Clarifies 'distorted' political history

Archie Field (letter, March 25) was all over the map in his criticism of conservatives. You can certainly tell when an election year arrives. The distortions and total lack of concern for the truth abound.

For example, Mr. Field asserts that President Franklin Rooseveltpushed through Social Security "despite bitter opposition from conservatives." The year was 1935 and President Roosevelt's plan had some strong opposition on both sides of the aisle. However, the final bill was truly a bipartisan effort. Seventy-five percent of Senate Republicans voted in favor.

If you get 75 percent in an election, it's called a landslide. But, for Mr. Field's edification, House Republicans supported the bill by a whopping 81 percent. Next, Mr. Field suggests that, had a Republican occupied the Oval Office in 1945, we would have let hundreds of thousand of American soldiers die rather than drop the atomic bomb. I won't even dignify that outrage with a response. Talk about hate rhetoric.

As for his defense of Jimmy Carter, I will agree Mr. Carter was probably one of the most honorable men to ever grace the White House. Unfortunately he was a generally poor president by most evaluations. However, Nancy Reagan never asked the Carters to vacate the White House.

To burst another of Mr. Field's bubbles, huge numbers of homeless were on the streets because they were released from asylums during the Carter administration.

Iran announced the hostage release as Mr. Reagan began his inaugural speech. They did that to embarrass Mr. Carter, whom the Ayatollah hated. Neither Messers. Reagan nor Carter "took credit" for the release; however it was Mr. Carter's inept handling of our relations with Iran which caused the crisis to begin with. In what was a real "class act," Mr. Reagan asked Mr. Carter to fly to Germany and welcome the Americans back to freedom. He did that to honor Mr. Carter.

Finally, those were Democratic governors who stood in the doors of high schools and colleges across the South to keep black kids out. But, it was a Republican president (Eisenhower) who sent in the 101st Airborne Division to force those governors to obey the Constitution. These facts are easy to validate. Why not honor the truth?

Bob Gardner, Augusta


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