To the editor,
At the heart of the disagreement between liberals and conservatives is their preference for cooperative versus individual action. Even the foreign policy of the United States reflects this division.
Liberals generally support collective international action to contribute to the welfare of the peoples of the world. Most support the U.N. and its actions to reduce armed conflict and to assist in the economic and political development of the poorer countries. They favor the U.S. joining with the international community to control threats to humanity such as nuclear arms, global warming, land mines, and small arms trafficking.
Just as they oppose collective actions at home, most conservatives approve of America’s aggressive foreign policy. America’s power and prestige are vital objectives for them. The kind of foreign policies favored by conservatives have characterized international relations throughout history.
Since WWII, however, the global trend has been in the direction favored by the liberals. For example, there have been no recent armed conflicts between Western European powers which for centuries had engaged in one bloody war after another.
In fact, no great powers have fought one another in a major war since the China-U.S confrontation in Korea over half a century ago. War has been on the decline, and with the trend toward more cooperation between nations, there is hope for a better world.
Gloucester and Exeter, N.H.