Charles Hurt ("Republicans fret not, today's shutdown is far different than 1996's," Commentary, Oct. 2) is right — but his theme only grazes the much larger national disgorgement that will eventually be required no matter how desperate the polity may be to avoid it.
Beyond the trek back to 1996, Mr. Hurt's message encourages a far greater examination of how different America has become over the past half century and how the political and social order have failed to properly acknowledge the passage of time and circumstance. This is surprising, given all America's claims of enlightenment and progress. It is this larger examination that holds the answers to the now-hackneyed political paradigm and its accompanying exhortations from citizens and elites now trapped in a never-ending cycle of government-created dependency.
Mr. Hurt is so very correct when he writes: "A little light dieting is no longer in order. It is now a full-blown acute crisis." The question now becomes: Who is willing to stand up and demand something different on the menu?
DAVID F. RUPPERT