West's Leaders Don Mantle of Conservatism

I was amused by your story "New Look in West's Leaders" (Sept. 30). Clinton, Blair, and Schrder were each elected after adopting generally conservative ideas as their own. Rather than signaling an end to the historic rightward shift of the electorate, these elections validate that shift. The only way for someone on the left to get elected is to don the mantle of conservatism. Welfare reform and tax cuts are just two examples of Clinton has walking arm in arm with conservatives in Congress. Years of unsustainable social spending in France and Germany have crippled those nation's economies and lengthened the unemployment lines. Of course Tony Blair calls it a "Third Way." He must call it something other than conservatism, otherwise he would be admitting the defeat of the socialist economic model.

Finally, your story suggested that only those on the left are compassionate. This is not so. Conservatives, unlike liberals, do not measure compassion by the number of people on the welfare rolls.

Keith M. Emery

Athens, Ga.

The front-page piece "New Look in West's Leaders" includes some slanted reporting, unfortunately. It alleges that Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Helmut Kohl were a triple "threat." I think the reporter added an extra "h." These leaders were a triple treat, not threat. They ended years of malaise, high inflation, and stagnant real income in the 1980s. They set the course to the prosperity that we enjoy in the 1990s. These leaders were no threat to anyone but the Soviet imperialists.

The reporter also alleges that "welfare reform and a balanced budget are Clinton's biggest accomplishments." These accomplishments are Republican ideas and came to fruition thanks to a Republican Congress, President Clinton opposed both changes as long as they could. I think it can be said that under President Clinton, Democrats have lost power at the federal and state levels in greater numbers than at any time since World War II.

Dorothy Jensen

Bismarck, S.D.

Home-run hype back then

The Babe Ruth opinion piece by Nicolaus Mills (Oct. 1) was interesting, but I would say a bit off the mark. Mr. Mills looked at The New York Times, a staid newspaper in the 1920s, and found that it was not all that excited about Ruth's run at his own home-run record. I would suggest that had he looked at other New York papers of less high-brow pretensions, he would have found considerably more interest and comment about the record. Ruth hit 17 home runs that September and caused a great deal of excitement in the press, as well as many suggestions that American League pitchers were grooving pitches to help the Babe break his own record. The restraint of the Times was not typical.

Richard C. Crepeau

Winter Springs, Fla.

Monitor as teacher's aid

I am a teacher and subscribe to The Christian Science Monitor. In fact, both my teaching partner and I subscribe to your paper. Currently I am home-schooling a young gymnast, and I use your paper everyday for reading, writing, vocabulary, geography, and current events. Every day we choose one article to read aloud. She reads, and as we get to concepts she doesn't understand, we stop and discuss them. All of her vocabulary words come from the article (the words she doesn't know). Sometimes she only finds one or two, but usually we find anywhere up to five new words each day. Since we began reading the paper, her reading skills, vocabulary, and writing skills have increased! I am impressed with the level, objective reporting in your articles. You don't just choose one side to favor and not discuss the other side.

Emma S. McDonald


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