To the Editor:

I sincerely hope that the attendees of the World Social Forum are not as dumb and amoral as Rebecca Reider makes them out to be in her recent column

(“In global popularity test, we’re off the map,” 2/17). Believing that “Bushie” is “just another evil dictator, replete with his torture chambers and his corrupt cronies in lucrative industries” is not what I would consider being well-versed in North American politics. Simplistically ascribing John Kerry’s loss to the cliched red state-blue state divide doesn’t make the cut, either.

Furthermore, that thousands of youths cheered a speaker declaring that “Bush, you are the terrorist!” is not an exuberant statement of democratic participation but a sad moral equation of a democratically elected ruler with cold-blooded murderers. If these are the people that Reider would like Americans to take lessons from, I think we would be better off to remain ignorant.

Mike Dunham ’06

Feb. 17, 2005