'Fraternity' Lost in US Politics

The opinion-page column "Running to Lose," Aug. 7, accurately describes the split dividing Republicans and Democrats.The two trudge along like a pair of drunken partisans on the eve of the French Revolution. One lifts the Tricolor and voices the cry "Liberty!" The other cries "Equality! just as the two trip over each other's feet and fall face down in the mud. The cry "Fraternity!" is lost in the mire. "Fraternity the notion that we are all in this together, that we are brothers and sisters no matter what the differences in our circumstances - is an idea increasingly foreign to both parties. Republicans skillfully manipulate the fears of white Americans in an effort to divide them from black Americans, while Democrats have nothing to say to the entrepreneurs, investors, and employers who, by the risks they take, provide employment and growth. Yet fraternity is needed to address the scourges of racism and poverty. Racism can be eliminated only when replaced with trust, respect, and mutual goodwill. Poverty can be eliminated only by opportunity and real growth. We must insist that our political parties rise above appeals to race and class and begin to speak to our shared destiny. Charles Cree, St. Paul, Minn.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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