In my younger years, 25-28, I lived and worked in Germany. I met Hitler’s associate, Albert Speer, after his 20-year imprisonment, and we discussed what he had learned about selfish leaders — “megalomaniacs.” Richard Nixon was one.

Our country must not take democracy for granted. False patriotism, excessive nationalism, is the wrong kind of pride. The moral character of our leaders must be carefully weighed. If we think our side won the two World Wars, we should avoid the next one. Diplomacy can work, if we use it well; by which I mean, we, too, must give in, a little bit.

J. William Clarke, Seattle