Harry Sauberman writes (Mailbag, Feb. 5) that Ronald Reagan is not deserving of a statue in Newport Beach.
In 1984, President Reagan carried 49 states and won in a landslide in Newport Beach and Orange County. In case you don't realize it, you live in "Reagan Country." I don't know why you felt the need to mention you are a millionaire and a resident of Ocean Heights, but I want to assure you that this statue will be funded by private donations and not cost you a cent.
As for your frivolous and unfounded attacks on Reagan, here are a few things you missed. After the Carter disaster, he restored America's sense of greatness and self confidence. The economic boom of his policies lasted from 1982 to 1990 and created more than 20 million jobs and the GDP grew 36%. As for your labor comments, he supported labor. But when the air traffic controllers staged an illegal strike, he did the right thing and fired them.
With regard to Reagan's intelligence, it's well documented that the people who worked with him, as well as his opponents, held him in high esteem. Reagan was articulate and a policy wonk that became a visionary for this country and the world.
Not deserving of a statue? I say we put him up on Mt. Rushmore.
Opposition growing against Reagan statue
I am a tax-paying homeowner and resident of Newport Coast and along with a growing number of Newport Beach residents, strongly object to a proposed statue of Ronald Reagan being placed on the public grounds of the new civic center.
In addition to the reasons already outlined by recent letters, here are some more reasons why people object to this proposal, Ronald Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
When he was campaigning in 1980, he said this act was "humiliating to the South." He dismissed the AIDS epidemic and prevented his surgeon general from speaking out and educating the public about the epidemic until 1986 in the face of public outcry. He referred to poor women who received welfare benefits as "welfare queens" in an effort to further ostracize people who were already marginalized.
Reagan's record with respect to the plight of people suffering in this country is neither noble nor representative of the values that some residents of Newport Beach hold.
I will be attending — and encourage others to attend — the Arts Commission meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday when the commission will be voting on this matter. This may be the last place and time the public can have an impact on this matter.