Individualism vs. community
He goes on to suggest a conflict between individualism and community spirit. I am not convinced that conflict exists.
A historical view reveals that Colonial Americans had a strong sense of community. Town borders formed a "community" of individuals who valued self-sufficiency and private property. Communities of such individuals took care of their own. There was no "tension" between individualism and the community spirit that provided for the needy among them.
Community responsibility eroded as taxation empowered centralized governments to assume the roles of local communities.
The solution now is to slash the federal role and restore power to states and local communities who better understand their problems and can develop local solutions.
Matthew Dowd's opinion essay presents an elegant discourse on the yin and yang of American values at play in our government. Carefully considered, his logic prompts this reader to demand the solutions hinted at, and not just accept the current dysfunctional models favored by the majority of Republicans and Democrats today. We can and must do better.
David K. McClurkin
Russia's new interest
Regarding, "Russia repurposes Soviet ties" (May 24), thank you for the article and insights into Russian President Medvedev's recent meetings in Syria and Turkey. This is the kind of article that renews my hope that peace in the Middle East is possible in the foreseeable future. Let's hope that the Obama administration sees Mr. Medvedev's recent meetings as complementing US peace efforts in the Middle East.
What 'tea partyers' want
In response to Walter Rodgers's opinion column "The tea party's biggest concern isn't Obama's agenda" (May 17), I couldn't disagree more, especially as a "tea party" member who's familiar with the platform.
Consider: the health-care bill passed despite popular majority disapproval; the rejection of Arizona's immigration bill and failure to secure the borders, again ignoring popular sentiment; the president's support of cap and trade; a disrespect for the Founding Fathers' penchant for limited government and balanced budgets; and Obama's appointment of czars. It's not "white angst over lost political power," it's American angst over lost political power.