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Readers React: GOP debate: With candidates like these, no wonder people don’t vote

To the editor: My parents bought our first TV when I was 10 years old. The next summer I was glued to it watching the two national nominating conventions. After 1952 I watched the next seven conventions. I was so taken with politics that I earned master’s degrees in history and political science. I taught history and government for years.

Today, I can hardly stand watching any candidate, let alone the “debate” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday. (“At the Reagan Library for debate, wannabes with little in common with Reagan,” Op-Ed, Sept. 15)

If someone with my background, who has voted in every election since she turned 21, is frustrated by today’s political situation, is it any wonder the United States is struggling with low voter turnout?

Mary Anne Vincent, Corona

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To the editor: Lawrence J. Korb, an assistant secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, is correct that the president’s support of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provided both an amnesty as well as a pathway to citizenship for almost 3 million illegal immigrants.

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However, Korb fails to acknowledge that the act was a failure in that only the amnesty prevailed, while the enforcement provisions were ineffective.

Consequently, according to Edwin Meese III, Reagan’s attorney general from 1985-88, not only has the number of illegal immigrants quadrupled, but “amnesty ‘bends’ the rule of law … provoking wholesale breaking of the law,” which then encourages millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope that they also might receive amnesty.

Jim Redhead, San Diego

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To the editor: It is refreshing to read a factual account of achievements and advances that the U.S. witnessed during Reagan’s two terms. Because of his modest upbringing, during which he attended a non-elite college, Reagan was grounded in pragmatism.

Two issues, however, remain controversial: the Iran-contra scandal and the tripling of the national debt. Notwithstanding those thorny realities, Reagan remains a memorable character in the history of this country. He reminds me of Abraham Lincoln in his simplistic approach to complex and sensitive situations.

The current GOP contenders who wish to enter the White House appear to be unaware of facts about Reagan.

Kasi Gabbita, Rancho Cucamonga

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