“You see him as a saint. I’m far less awed. In fact, I see right through him. He’s a fraud.” Tartuffe, Act I, sc. 1.
The “vituperation” inspired by the ACLU’s lawsuit against our city is indeed deserved. (Letters, Dec. 31, “We Should Look At Ourselves”).
The ACLU is at the heart of the homeless problem not only in Laguna Beach, but in cities all over the country. Long ago, it played a central role in shuttering most state psychiatric hospitals and in blocking all attempts to treat the seriously mentally ill, who lacked the competency to even understand they were sick. After voters elected Ronald Reagan as governor, it filed a lawsuit that got the ball rolling. It would use a similar tactic against New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Our state hospitals eventually emptied, reserved only for those few whose violent conduct and severely impaired psychiatric state could satisfy the strictest legal standard. Our streets, public parks, jails and prisons took their place. Thank you, ACLU for “leading the good fight”!
Knowing this shameful history is the source of “vituperation” — no, disgust — at the lawsuit ensnaring Laguna Beach with outlandish legal theories that could only derive from the most fevered imagination of the pluperfect hypocrite. Perhaps the ACLU and its misguided fans should regard their own image in the mirror.
Joan Mounteer, Laguna Beach