Your editorial "What the World Needs Now" for New Year's Day--still breathing the spirit of the bicentennial year of our Constitution--spans the rainbow spectrum of American values. You echo the constitutional mandate "to promote the general welfare and secure the rights of liberty." You appeal to the work ethic coupled with imagination and the spirit of enterprise--a combination so useful to a growing United States in the past, so essential to us in the present, if we want to have a future.
The real challenge for the future lies in your suggestion, that "Americans can help the rest of the world" by setting a common-sense example of greater effort, higher taxes and smaller defense budgets.
Our country's ultimate example for the rest of the world still is the one the founders created 200 years ago when they "united for the common defense."
For this purpose, they were willing to set aside or compromise regional differences which must have seemed, in their day, as radical as those between us and the communist countries today. The desire to unite for the defense against the common enemies mentioned in your editorial--disease, hunger, homelessness--should actually be spurred by the knowledge that in this nuclear age humanity could not survive a war like the one which was necessary to preserve our American Union.
RABBI ALFRED WOLF
Director, Skirball Institute
on American Values
American Jewish Committee