Thank you for the excellent four-part series on "What's Wrong With Congress" by Sara Fritz (Part I, Jan. 24-27). I think the articles were useful in detailing how Congress works and more importantly, as a metaphor for U.S. values in a changing and troubled world.
Congressmen and women are a diverse lot, truly representing the diversity in this country. Thus conflict is inherent in its activities; it is the lack of consensus on basic values which is the cause of our government's inability to deal with the crucial issues of the day.
The root cause of the Iran-Contra affair has to do with our basic perception as to how to deal with what we perceive to be threats to our sense of well-being and threats to our national interests. Do we use violence and force or negotiation and selective application of aid? There is a fundamental difference in the country as to which course to choose. Should Congress be any different?
There is a difference of opinion as to how we should care for the homeless and mentally ill.
My sense is that the old dichotomy of Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal approach to problem solving is no longer working.
I think any approach which attempts to fragment or box in the problem will prove unworkable. We need a system or holistic approach to problems.