A tale of two presidents

Ballets often deal with fables, so onlookers might be forgiven for drawing a moral from a current tale of two presidents, their sons, and a choreographic climax.

In the Soviet Union what can a dedicated communist President do for his son? This month Mr. Brezhnev made son Yuri a candidate member of the party's Central Committee. It was hardly in keeping with impersonal standards of party advancement.

In the United States what can a dedicated free-enterprise President do for his son? This week Mr. Reagan lent his presence to a fund- raising gala for the ballet company in which son Ronald dances. It was thoroughly in keeping with the Reagan belief that private support of the arts ought to compensate for cutting the federal arts budget in half.

It is not known what pleasure Mr. and Mrs. Brezhnev get from watching Yuri perform as a politician. But it was evident what pleasure the Reagans got from their first glimpse of Ronald in professional ballet. Theirs was a vote of confidence not only in a son but in the appreciation of the arts that is appropriate to the leadership of any civilized society.

Moral: when it comes to communism, we'd rather be dancin'.

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