The Washington Times

‘Ugliness’ in Lafayette Park
should be cleaned up

As the leaders of the world's two greatest powers meet here and the press from all over the globe cover story of the year, I wonder how many journalists' cameras aimed at the White House will also photograph the ugliness across Pennsylvania Avenue?

Our national capital is a beautiful city, and Lafayette Park should be a lovely plus rather than the eyesore d inadvertent anti-U.S. propaganda bonanza that it is now during Mikhail Gorbachev's summit visit here.

Having lived abroad and visited most of Europe's capital cities, I know of no other in which local authorities permit an unremitting, year-round spectacle directly opposite their chief executive's residence.

I understand First Amendment rights, but enough is enough. The naive, indecorous assemblage in Lafayette Park should be an affront to thinking citizens. Despite the possible sincerity of that assemblage, their intended message is easily twisted to other purposes.

The journalists' photos don't need captions. The "obvious" conclusion of the foreign reader or television viewer would be to wonder how many other downtrodden poor people protest elsewhere in America as they do in the national capital, in full view of the White House.

Fairfax, Va.