Happy birthday, Great Communicator

To the Daily:
Yesterday was the birthday of one the greatest Americans of our time President Ronald Reagan. In his 2002 book, “Letters to a Young Conservative,” Dinesh D’Souza, who was a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, described Reagan as a cheerful, forward-looking man who always appreciated the effectiveness of humor. But beneath his jovial nature, Reagan was a determined president and was not afraid to take on the biggest idea of the 20th century: collectivism. Reagan was the first to say “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.” As president, Reagan sought to stop the growth of welfare state at home and dismantle the Soviet empire abroad. He accomplished both.

Because of the Reagan administration’s policies and decisions to cut taxes, America saw an economic boom. The annual deficit not only vanished, there was also a budget surplus. Many claim this was caused by the Clinton administration. However, it was the economic growth stemming from policies in the Reagan Era that proved to be the cause of the treasury’s tax boom.

Reagan today is seen as the hero of the conservative movement. He was successful because he was confident and stood firm on his moral ground, not letting the rough politics of Washington D.C. dismantle him. He also didn’t care what the political elites said about him nor wish to win their approval. The only people Reagan sought to satisfy were the American people.

Ronald Reagan, thank you for winning the Cold War, reviving the U.S. economy and invigorating the American spirit.

Sarah Ledford
Engineering junior
The letter writer is the chair of the University’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom

Date auction a missed opportunity for Daily

To the Daily:
I’m disappointed that the Project Suyana Mardi Gras Date Auction was not covered in The Michigan Daily. The members of our group worked many hours organizing this event, and I feel that a lot of the good we did went unnoticed.

Instead, when I picked up the paper Tuesday, all I saw was the half-page picture of Barack Obama’s barber that covered most of the page above the fold. What was not on the front page or in the paper at all was a mention of the Project Suyana Mardi Gras Date Auction, a unique event that was considered by some to be the one of most diverse, creative and compelling charity events this campus has seen in years.

There was no mention of how Michigan football punter Zoltan Mesko punted beads into the crowd of more than 400 people; no mention of how a date with Stella Binkevich, chief of staff in Michigan Student Assembly, was auctioned off for $530; no pictures of the beautiful green, purple and gold balloon arch that stretched across the stage; no mention of how the event was hosted by 14-year college senior Johnny Lechner, the real-life Van Wilder; no mention of how the event was broadcast live on CollegeHumor.com; and no mention of how the event featured some of the University’s most diverse student leaders and performance groups.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to Chicago to get my hair cut by Obama’s barber – I have to look good for my Valentine’s Day date that I won at the auction.

Reda Jaber
LSA senior
The letter writer is executive director of Project Suyana and head coordinator of the Mardi Gras Date Auction

Lack of protest caused by lack of necessity

To the Daily:
In his recent viewpoint about the failure of online activism and behavior to effectively translate into action (Uploading lazy activism, 02/06/2008), Mike Eber was way off the mark. While he blames the Internet for a lack of student participation in protests, I would suggest that he look beyond the recent graduation debacle. In my four years at the University I have witnessed numerous demonstrations and displays of public outcry. People do care.

Given that, one would posit that the reason so few people showed up for the Maize Out March that Eber was involved in was not because students are lazy but because there was no reason to show up. Even before the Daily announced that graduation would be held at either Elbel Field or the Diag, which made moot the march’s main goal of forcing an on-campus commencement, the University’s administration had already shown signs of capitulation. Why miss class when progress was being made?

More importantly, while the prospect of holding graduation at Eastern Michigan University was distasteful (I also sent an e-mail or two voicing my annoyance), it was not on the same level as, say, protesting the draft. Sending letters to the University administration was an appropriate type of discourse for expressing discontent about commencement. I am relieved that there was no major march because it would have been disheartening to see hundreds of people show up to protest the graduation location while only one major anti-war student group exists on campus

Like many, Eber jumped on the bandwagon and wrote off this generation, which is his loss.

Students may not be occupying buildings as often as their parents did, but many more are involved in other activities to change the world for the better. Too bad this isn’t good enough for Eber.

Max Eddy
LSA senior

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