In the opinion-page article `` '94 Election Reflects Postindustrial Era,'' Dec. 2, the author explains the causes of support for the ``Contract With America'' in the first two sentences: ``Republicans won big victories in last month's elections on the basis of an unusually coherent ideological appeal. From Massachusetts to Washington State, GOP candidates called for less government... .''
Republicans traditionally have had problems explaining their proposals, because the Democrats have, until now, been able to sell the idea that the federal government must solve our complex problems.
Millions of small businesses have proven that the best solutions are those made closest to the problem. As a consequence, more and more communities are learning to take back both the responsibility for solutions and the tax money taken from them by the federal government to fund macro-solutions.
If large companies can learn (as they have) that assembly-line workers are competent to solve assembly problems, can't we hope that large government will see the logic in letting local people solve local problems? Floyd E. Weymouth, Piney Flats, Tenn.
A deeper understanding of our past
The article ``In Search of Whose History'' Dec. 7, suggests an interesting addition to the school curriculum: courses on civic leadership - a useful study that I would support wholeheartedly. But the purpose of history is not simply to answer questions such as ``What makes a great leader?'' History is much more than that.
The most important questions are the very ones that the author underrates: What are the roots of conflict in the Balkans, and what does this present conflict say about our capacity to create and maintain peace and security?
History isn't celebrity mongering; we get plenty of that through other venues. History is understanding the past, appreciating how we came to this present, and recognizing the future that is open to us. When it comes to civilizations, perhaps the most important point one learns from studying history is the hazard of arrogance. Every great power has ultimately fallen. Let's not be blind to that possible future by ignoring our failures and smugly congratulating ourselves on our successes. Katherine H. Rudolph, Brentwood, Calif.
Greece: striving toward peace
In response to the article ``Balkan Dominoes Could Tumble Back on Serbia Province,'' Dec. 13: Greece has no territorial designs on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as the article erroneously states. On the contrary, Greece is the principal country in the troubled Balkan Peninsula that consistently has advocated respect for existing borders of all Balkan countries and is actively working for a peaceful resolution of the Balkan crisis, in order to promote stability in southeastern Europe. Marina Kasdaglis, Boston Press attache, Consulate General of Greece
Getting to the root of the problem
I was a little disturbed by the opinion-page article ``What's Black and White and Divided All Over?'' Nov. 25. The statements ``subliminal appeal to racism ... demagoguery of white candidates ... and tapping into centuries of racial stereotypes and discrimination... '' contained strong words for what may be honest differences of opinion.
If we are to make significant strides toward substantial progress with our collective problems we must overcome the urge to see every statement and every action only in terms of racism. If we don't understand the causes of our problems, then we won't know whether our proposed solutions will alleviate or aggravate the problems. Let's hear more discussion of the causes before we all start pitching our favorite solutions. H.A. Gardner, Goleta, Calif.