Letters Sept. 3, 2020

Braindead Liberals ?

When Democrats get elected liberals go braindead. This eternal truth, which I heard when I was quite young, seems destined to repeat itself. Even given the dearth of democracy provided by the US Constitution, it seems extremely unlikely that Donald Trump could be re-elected. Unfortunately, after he is gone all the deep-seated dysfunctionality of the US political and economic system will still be with us.

Trump is a despicable aggressive lying narcissistic immoral buffoon. Pointing this out in clever ways as many have done on these pages is the low-hanging fruit. It’s easy and it feels good.  

The hard work is yet to come. Yes, Republicans are worse but the departure of carrot-top comb-over and his allies is not permission for liberals to go back to sleep comforted by the soothing tones of establishment liberalism. Indeed, it’s not the time for establishment liberalism at all.  

If the George Floyd trauma has taught us anything, it’s that rooting out racism is not just a matter of choosing one’s words more carefully. It’s a long hard slog to jettison long held ways of thinking and systematically retool institutions to reflect radically different values.  

Why should we think it would take any less time, effort and organization to counter the assumption that making money off sickness is the best way to supply health care to our population when virtually no other modern nation does so?  

Over half of the US discretionary budget is spent on the massive aggressive US military machine at the same time we hear city and state elected officials wringing their hands about the lack of money for basic services. They need only look up to see the 148th Fighter wing burning it up in a roar over Duluth every day, but no one dares say anything. They seem to think that educating and challenging the public is not in their job descriptions.  

Local officials would do well to help replace our two Democrat neocon neoliberal US senators with real alternatives to the corporate establishment rather than telling us what good Democrats they are and that the Republicans are even worse.  

Barak Obama built his career on accommodating power while soothing the public with feel good talk. Establishment Democrats are yearning for a resurrection of Obama in Biden and Harris. Good luck. Things are much worse now and Obama’s bank bailouts and half-measures won’t do. Hard questions must be asked and vested interests must be challenged. Uncomfortable stuff for establishment Democrats.  

What to do? The recent local primary elections here in Duluth and in some other places can offer a blueprint. Contrary to what we were taught in school, elections don’t typically determine the direction of politics. In fact, it works the other way around. If the hand wringers about Trump want change, if they want universal medical care, an end to militarism, clean energy and environment, then they’d better start investing their time in getting out in the street, knocking on doors, making phone calls, going to meetings, confronting politicians, and being public and vocal about issues. Now is not time to go braindead or back to sleep. Establishment Democrats like Biden and Harris are not going to save you.  

Robert Kosuth

History provides binoculars

In response to the article about World War II and the bombing of Hiroshima, it was a memorable tribute. While it recalls attention to the bombing, it was presented only from a single lens. Our country did not just drop bombs. Remember that we entered the war after the worse than ruthless regime of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

There were more than 2,400 lives lost from that attack alone not to mention the loss of our brave soldiers throughout the remainder of the war. That is why history is important. History tells future generations the what and why of events that have happened.

Even today, the countries in the Middle East who have fought wars with each other for thousands of years, with the mediation of our President and his administration have reached an agreement for peace. Imagine what peace will mean to the people who live there.

Just like referencing back to how Japan and America are close allies today, there is great hope that more countries join in taking the step to peace so that children will no longer be victims of killing and look back at the peace of Japan and America. History provides a binocular view of events.

Louane Beyer

We need facts, not fiction

To be successful each of us must tell fact from fiction. Webster’s Dictionary defines fact as, “A thing done, the quality of being actual.” A fact is something real. Webster defines fiction as, “Something invented by the imagination, or feigned.” Fiction is make believe. Today conspiracy theories are a popular form of fiction online. The wilder and weirder the conspiracy theory, the more popular it becomes.

It is especially important that our elected officials be able to tell fact from fiction. President Trump is well known for treating fiction like fact. A recent example is his support for the conspiracy theory QAnon. Senator Ron Johnson is spending time and tax dollars investigating the discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine sabotaged the 2016 election and is doing so again this year. Newly minted Representative Tom Tiffany recently sent me a letter that in part read, “...Serious discussions about badly needed postal reforms have been tainted by baseless conspiracy theories floated in recent days by special interest groups and partisan demagogues seeking to gain political advantage...” I had written Tiffany requesting help with delayed mail deliveries I have experienced over the past two months.

Trump, Johnson and Tiffany cannot tell fact from fiction. We need to elect officials who are able to tell fact from fiction. We are stuck with Senator Johnson, baring a recall, for a couple more years. But Trump and Tiffany are on the ballot in November. It is time to elect officials who will act in the public interest.

Jason Maloney

Out on a limb

I felt like I was going out on a limb when I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Abandoning the Democratic Party of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton was painful, but I thought maybe the country should try something new. We all knew Trump as the pompous huckster from The Apprentice, but he was decisive and kind of funny. Make the Establishment squirm and Drain the swamp were the mantras I heard. Who would’ve known that the results would be so disastrous?

I slowly realized that our democracy was slipping toward oblivion as President Obama was threatened with exile back to Kenya. We were no expecting the history of Egypt or Nicaragua to be repeated here. Many countries have never felt the joy of electing a new president.

Am I worse citizen than those who did not vote? How about wasting your vote on a candidate from the Green Party who cannot win? After all, Trump was famous and had secured the nomination of the Grand Old Party by bullying his opponents into submission. It didn’t take long for the guy who had shouted the loudest “Lock her up” at the convention to be locked up himself, followed by a slew of Trump’s temporary employees. Many of them were deemed criminals, but the big man got away with the unindicted co-conspirator status.

For the first three years, Trump slept in, ate his egg McMuffin, checked out the cable news, went to daily briefings, and blew the information off. He didn’t want to hear bad things about himself. Criticism was not allowed, just like Russia or North Korea.

Then one morning, he discovered that the United States had suffered a case of the coronavirus. What to do? Deny, obfuscate, blame the Chinese, fire medical experts, and take up his own brand of science for dummies. He said it would just go away. then nursing homes, ethnic communities, and native American communities were hit by the virus.

It’s interesting to see him squirm as the election date nears. The Democratic vice presidential nominee is particularly problematic to his white national agenda. People say she is not a citizen before her parents were immigrants. Has anybody checked his trophy wife’s status?

I never understood how Germany could allow itself to be commandeered by an Austrian dropout, but hate and greed obviously played a part. It could happen here. Our wonderfully diverse society is moving the white population toward minority status. I fear the worst if we can’t solve the problem in the next presidential election and retain our status as the world’s greatest democracy.

Charles Anderson
Mauston, Wisconsin