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Change We Can't Believe!

As a longtime libertarian, I very much enjoyed David Von Drehle's insightful and entertaining look at the movement ["The Party Crashers," Nov. 8]. However, most libertarians I know consider themselves not right wing but members of a distinctive political movement that is neither right nor left. And libertarians are not "pro-marijuana." Although we strongly favor relegalizing marijuana (and other drugs), it's not because we endorse drug use. It's because we are pro-freedom.

James W. Harris, RYDAL, GA.

Throughout your issue, you refer to Rand Paul--a man who would shred social programs in favor of big-fish-eat-little-fish unfettered capitalism--as a "populist." Paul's politics are about as far from populism as one can possibly get.

Alexander Neilson, SEATTLE

I found the cover question--"But can they govern?"--patronizing. The answer? They can't be any worse! Americans have finally discovered that with a little effort, we can effect change. If winners Marco Rubio and Paul don't act as they promised, out they go until we finally elect people with integrity.

Shelley Perkins, DEMING, N.M.

What scares me most is that there is no discussion of the qualifications of these candidates with respect to education or problem solving. We choose leaders on the basis of slogans and attack ads--and hope they have the skills to manage the federal government, a multitrillion-dollar organization.

Lee Jaslow, SPRINGDALE, ARK.

To feature Meg Whitman, Rubio, Paul and Christine O'Donnell on your cover a few days before the critical midterm elections is reprehensible. Why not simply endorse them?

Thomas Hauck, GLOUCESTER, MASS.

I.O.U., U.S.A.

In "Debt Doesn't Matter," Zachary Karabell misses the point [Nov. 8]. Voter anger is not about government spending. It is about the ineffectiveness of the spending. Almost $800 billion in stimulus money was spent creating public-sector jobs, as well as temporary construction jobs that will end and then require more unemployment wages. If the Administration proposes a new spending plan aimed at creating private-sector manufacturing and service-industry jobs, the Republicans and the voters will support it.

Hemant Shah, IRVINE, CALIF.

Karabell says that relatively speaking, the federal debt burden has not changed much in 20 years. The U.S. Treasury reported federal debt in the first quarter of 2010 at 89% of GDP, up from 51% in 1988. While the amount the government spends servicing that debt is low now, any spike in interest rates would change that in a fat hurry. And rates won't stay near zero for long.

John Knoerle, CHICAGO

Going Nuclear

Re "A Reactor Revival" [Nov. 8]: How does Joe Klein propose to get the huge amount of nuclear waste from these reactors to a "safe" repository so no one is harmed? The nuclear-waste transport and storage solutions of both Japan and France are spotty at best. Also, each reactor is a terrorist target. The reality of nuclear power is grim at best.

Pete Sipp, ASHEVILLE, N.C.

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