<i>Golf and politics</i>

EDITOR: Last week, Jack Nicklaus endorsed Mitt Romney. In his remarks, designed to highlight the unmitigated individualism of current Republican conservatism, Nicklaus noted that he chose golf as a sport because it was all about his personal efforts and didn't require him to rely on anyone else.

Two days later, the Ryder Cup competition — a biennial contest between teams representing the United States and Europe — began outside Chicago. Tens of thousands of partisan spectators cheered on the Americans while waving American flags and chanting, "USA! USA!" Over the first two days, when team members were paired with and relied upon one another, the U.S. team dominated the Europeans. On the final day of singles matches, when it was every man for himself, Europe roared back and won the Ryder Cup.

So, when the Americans utilized their individual skills cooperatively as part of a group effort, they were highly successful. When they stood alone, not so much. Maybe it was just a golf competition, or maybe it is something to think about.