US conservatives must return to the mainstream
I don't believe that's true.
This country has, from its inception, been a liberal country. The very ideas of selecting our own leaders and forming a government that promotes a scheduled and orderly transfer of leadership power are very liberal.
"Conservative" means to keep things the same. But as the world itself changes, so we, too, need to change. With more people and more complex issues, more government involvement and control has become necessary. Our government has had to regulate industries to safeguard the populace from pollution and from the devastating effects of corporate greed, to name just a few examples.
I hope that in rebuilding the trust of the American people, the Republican Party will shed the aggressive, competitive cloak it's donned in recent years and return to the mainstream.
The idea for each of us should not be that of two antagonistic philosophies, in the form of two opposing parties, but rather that of two parts of one whole. Conservatives and liberals should work together congenially to maintain a balance between trying to rush ahead too fast, or trying to hold back the possibilities.
Peter A. Novak
San Pedro, Calif.
Change US-North Korea relations
Regarding the Nov. 7 Opinion piece, "A smarter North Korea policy": This commentary got it almost entirely right, but missed the most salient fact.
President-elect Obama and his incoming administration need to go back to the agreements the United States had with North Korea that were under way in 2000, and which were totally stopped by the Bush administration.
North Korea is using the possibility that it has plutonium and nuclear weapons as leverage. Its leadership wants admittance to the community of nations. Such admittance should not be a free ride, of course, but we should be helping, not hindering, the process.
US automakers must be kept afloat
Regarding the Nov. 3 article, "Are automakers also too big to fail?": For the well-being of America, the US automakers must survive this recession, and the federal government should provide the needed short-term help.
Not only must they be assisted, they are entirely worthy of that assistance. Contrary to popular belief, US automakers' products are completely competitive with those from any other country, in many cases surpassing foreign competition in point-by-point comparison. From quality of design and reliability to fuel efficiency and price, GM, Ford, and Chrysler products are a match for any other maker's.
The biggest hurdle the US automakers have faced for two decades has nothing at all to do with product. It is the inaccurate, outdated opinions and attitudes of the buying public concerning all things automotive.
This result for those who are unwilling to even consider a domestic-branded car is that they exclude themselves from the best values in the industry and the opportunity to support American industry and workers.
This needs to change.
Americans these days are wondering what they might do for their country. Here's a simple suggestion: Buy an American-made car. Enjoy the ride for a couple hundred thousand miles, and help put your countrymen back to work.
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