I know that I am not the only citizen feeling the anger and frustration spawned by recent shootings, the events in the Middle East and the behavior of our political leaders.

Actions taken so far have clearly not worked for us. I believe that most of the communication takes place in a piecemeal way and between those of like minds. Contrasting points of view are usually not right or wrong and may enrich the dialogue that occurs between open minds.

I wish to make the following points:

 Those of us who concentrate on the process of finding blame and the formulation of personal attacks will delay the agreement on policy changes that may help solve problems.

Military approaches have not helped and may have made the finding of solutions more difficult.

The refusal of over half of our states’ governors to allow the settling of Syrian immigrants is contrary to our standards and history. If our form of government is as good as we think it is, isn’t it illogical to become overprotective and isolationist?

If we believe that the individual that is most likely to become radicalized is poor, unemployed, undereducated, devalued and unpatriotic, shouldn’t our energies be dedicated to the changing of these facts?

The persistence of the terrorist culture represents a failure of leadership that is not specifically caused by one political party or one country. If we feel that our leaders should represent our opinions, then this is a time for letter writing and political discourse between citizens with contrasting opinions and open minds.

These discussions need to be conducted with a spirit of compromise and with the goal of finding long-term solutions based on the needs of the people living in the areas of conflict.

David Scotton

Cape Elizabeth