To the editor:
In a conversation with the late Barbara Tuchman (who is probably America's most prestigious historian), Bill Moyers once asked: "Where's the public anger over disclosures of governmental misconduct and incompetence? Where's the outrage over the swindling by the defense industry? The deception of Vietnam, Watergate, Pentagon scandals . . .?"To which Tuchman said that people don't take wrongdoing seriously. "Perhaps there's too much of it. We're just used to it," she said.
But I submit as a private citizen that the anger is now coming to the fore. People are at last expressing outrage at the misconduct of our public officials. Take for instance the newest banking nonsense of many of our congressmen.
"Throw the rascals out" may not be the solution in all cases, but if we voters will look at the performance of public officials, we should get clues as to which ones exhibit statesmanship and which are ruled by greed or by the passion to remain in office.
What can we do? I suggest: Go to city council meetings, school board meetings, political rallies, forums, public discussions. Read widely, don't rely on one field of thought; don't be afraid to express anger and outrage where they are demanded by the appearance of vice and greed. Register and vote.
Wanda S. Petersen