Democrats and the Issues

In his opinion-page column "The Democrats' Defeatism," April 26, Professor Steven Rosenstone talks about what he perceives as the key elements for a successful political campaign: "strong congressional and presidential candidates," the need to raise more money to build build better campaign organizations, and the need for candidates known to the voters ("public figures with a track record"). But there is not a word about the importance of a candidate's positions on key issues. Rosenstone airily dismisses two Democrats, one of whom is former US Sen. Paul Tsongas - the only candidate I'm aware of who has spelled out, in detail, his stands on the key issues: economic survival of America, education, the environment, energy, foreign policy, the culture of America, and America's need to return to purpose.

I am deeply impressed with Tsongas's background, experience both personal and professional, and his philosophy and plan of action set down in his paper "A Call to Economic Arms." I hope Rosenstone will take the time to read the Tsongas paper and then realize that much more than money, organization, and name recognition are needed (as important as those are) to start America back on the road to its proper place as a truly great and caring nation.

Niels T. Anderson, Cedar Springs, Mich.

It's time for free-market cows

The article "America's Dairy Farmers Victims of Price Squeeze," April 26, is nonsense. The real victims are the consumers who are forces to pay unnaturally high prices for milk and milk products, both directly in the retail store and again through taxes to pay for farm subsidies.

While one may feel concern for an individual farmer who is one's neighbor, this concern cannot manifest itself into actually giving him a certain amount of money from one's own paycheck each week.

It is universally felt that we all have to "make it" on our own. If dairy farming is not a profitable business under present economic circumstances, then these people must find another line of work.

The "problem" has been attacked in every possible way, including the herd buyout of a few years ago, which did nothing to solve the problem, but created a huge market dislocation for beef producers as a result of all the dairy cows being slaughtered. Guess who bailed out the beef producers?

In 1988-89, every full-time subsidized farmer received the equivalent of two new Mercedes Benz automobiles from the government. Is that right?

Donald Bradley, Plainfield, N.H.

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