Richard N. Goodwin in his article (Editorial Pages, Sept. 18), “The Mass Evacuation of the Left,” makes a compelling argument in pointing out the spinelessness of many so-called “liberal” politicians in failing to carry out the principles under which the Democratic Party emerged to become the party of the people.
Since space is limited I will not attempt to comment on each of Goodwin’s points, but something must be said regarding our idiotic foreign policy. How well I recall the proud elation I felt after being discharged from the service at the end of World War II. We, as Americans, were the decisive force in attaining victory, we military and civilians had done a damn fine job. I was proud too when it was decided that this caring and magnanimous country would undertake the great task of rebuilding much of the ruin that was Europe by developing the Marshall Plan. This was later followed by the heroic Berlin Air Lift invoked when the Russians sealed off access to West Berlin. There were real foreign policy decisions. They were practical, they were imaginative, they were humane, and, of course, they saved Western Europe from becoming part of the Soviet orbit.
Now, in place of our glorious past, what do we get? We see the comical spectacle of American combat troops invading the tiny island of Grenada, and botching the effort to boot. Then the capper was when the Pentagon awarded more than 8,000 medals, not only to those who participated in this farce, but also the stay-at-home Pentagon planners!
We see a President of the United States running amok in trying to foment hate and fear over some dirt-poor country in Central America, claiming our shores are vulnerable because a pip-squeak Marxist government has set up shop in Nicaragua. Really! Is this truly the mood of America?
Goodwin may well be right in lamenting the sorry condition of the Democratic Party, and perhaps I am naive, but I believe that before the next presidential election that this party will get its act together, and will collectively agree that Reaganism is stagnation, stupidity and disaster.
They will realize, (those who have strayed or are tempted to stray) that the age-old tenets that guide the Democratic Party incorporate the philosophy to solve today’s problems.
If the Democrats attempt to emulate the GOP in 1988 they will succeed in only alienating from their ranks their basic core of support which is essential to the party’s existence: the liberal left.