Public Service Announcement
Re: “Beyond Banning Soft Money”

Kudos for a great article. What we have been saying for years now is: Why do we have to put up with network television ads for political candidates? In Europe and other parts of the world this practice is banned. With more than 500 television channels available the most likely spot for political ads is on public access channels. They are supposed to be doing a public service; we should let them.

Keep up the good work.

Ron & Anna Winship


Progressive Pride
Re: “Progressive Duck and Cover”

Dear Mr. Gitlin,

Thank you very much for this article. Sometimes I think I’m the last progressively inclined person in this country. Since Sept. 11, our representatives in Washington seem to have mistaken the message, “We are all Americans now,” for “We are all Republicans now.”

This situation is quite scary. I came here from Poland many years ago, and I recall citizens there being outspoken about the government folly — and we had tanks on the streets. It wasn’t really abstract to imagine what the endgame was and still we spoke out. So, why not a peep here?

I hope all Democrats in Congress got a copy of your article. They need to get the message that people want them to act like Democrats, and not to support warmongering.

Aleksandra Monk

Todd Gitlin’s article makes the following point clear: Even when we are right, some of us on the political left are still plagued by self-doubt. We end up apologizing when we are scolded by both other leftists and the right for not seeing recent events as they do. We must instead be interested in holding onto our leftist ideals.

The very idea that the level of political resistance should decrease when things become more serious is shameful — a notion that indicates the left’s complicity in or ignorance of the contemporary horrors of postmodern imperialism.

So, I ask this: While we must increase our focus on vigilantly monitoring ourselves and making ourselves more applicable, does the left really have time to enjoy the luxuries of self-doubt and apologetics?

Benjamin Lanier-Nabors