Readers React

Look inward for the 'single overarching threat' to America

To the editor: Wow! From the gloomy predictability of the Op-Ed page, I find a pinpoint of radiance in Andrew J. Bacevich's piece on the Obama administration's plodding foreign policy. ("Lacking a foreign policy vision, Obama administration muddles along," Op-Ed, Jan. 29)

The art of damning with faint praise — it's here. The sting of the backhanded compliment — it's here too. Erudite scattershot (John Kerry to James Taylor to Jimmy Carter in one sentence, just for openers) — here yet again. I don't know who Bacevich is, but I thank him for this gem.

This being said, I take exception to the assertion that we are not currently facing any "single overarching threat." I think we are. I think the threat comes from within, and it derives from the rot deep within our two-party system.

That system may not be inherently polarizing (although Washington and Jefferson would disagree), but as things now operate, it menaces the fabric of American democracy in real and immediate ways. Stretched between a mule too clumsy to stumble out of the 1990s and an elephant hellbent upon dragging everything back to the 1950s, that fabric is being ripped in two.

Stephen Mattson, Los Osos, Calif.

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