Opinion | America at 246: An Unvarnished Look

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To the Editor:

An outsider’s view of America: a president saying his vice president deserved to hang; mass shootings, even of little children; almost one million abortions a year; a mental health crisis among teens; more than 100,000 drug-related deaths annually; growing homelessness in the streets of major cities; a government paralyzed, unable to enact meaningful legislation.

Who is looking strategically at the country and asking: Where did we go wrong? How do we reverse this? Where, despite some of the world’s top universities, are the philosophers, sociologists and economists who can make breakthroughs and plot new ways forward?

It is as if a giant machine is grinding to a halt, and people cannot agree on how to fix it, cannot even get together to meaningfully discuss possible ways to fix it. The beautiful American experiment in liberal democracy is grinding to a wrenching halt.

Leon Joffe
Pretoria, South Africa

To the Editor:

“America Is Worth Saving,” by Darren Walker (Opinion guest essay, July 4), is a must-read for all Americans and has particular resonance for those of us who have become increasingly despairing of our country’s continued viability.

It’s a powerful reminder of the truth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

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