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Americans love to have a rube, a flake, an oddball, a nerd, available for derision at all times. We are so keen on this sport almost anyone can fall victim to being picked as America's premier fool of the day, month or year.

Some of America's brightest people have been selected by acclamation as the proverbial village idiot. I keep hearing newspersons (and other Democrats) say that Newt Gingrich would profit from a visit to the exorcist. I watched a few of his TV college lectures and what he said made perfect sense. He divided those on welfare into three groups: those truly disabled and unable to change or their dependence upon others for sustenance; those who could be trained or retrained to fill productive jobs; and those for whom welfare has become a lifestyle.I see nothing cruel in the description or in the attempt to improve what is at present a failed system.

Then there is Ross Perot. The press treats Perot with such contempt one might get the impression the man had nothing going for him. But who called America's attention to the problem of deficit spending in '92? Perot says NAFTA has created a $70 billion deficit - I see no proof to the contrary. All I hear is the giggling of press members as they write, speak and draw cartoons of Perot. The media's position is quite similar to that of inmates at the asylum chortling over how crazy their physicians are.

Tanner Hall