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Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of June 14, 2010

Readers write in about the GOP, Russia's Soviet ties, and what Tea partiers want.

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Individualism vs. community

In Matthew Dowd's May 24 opinion piece, "A new way to blend GOP and Democratic values," the author noted that Americans trust community approaches, not pure individualism or big, federal government.

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.

Russia's new interest

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