‘Stop bullying us, Mr. President’

January 24, 2019

Someone needs to explain to President Donald Trump the difference between “bully” and “bully pulpit.” “Bully” is all that this president understands about governing. Before the election, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, Trump was unable to persuade Congress to fund his wall. Now Democrats control the House. Trump has shuttered the government as a means of bullying Democrats into funding something a majority of Americans still see as wasteful and ineffective.

The phrase “bully pulpit” was coined by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt believed the presidency was an excellent place from which to articulate a particular cause or vision. Roosevelt’s time was when Republicans still possessed intelligence, integrity and a finely honed set of governing skills.

This then is all that Democrats are asking: Stop bullying us, Mr. President. Open our government, and use your bully pulpit to convince us why we should pay for your wall.

William Brown

Santa Fe

Return to sanity

Give the half-wit his border wall. President Joe Biden or President Elizabeth Warren can have the distinction of tearing it down to mark a return to national sanity.

Stephen Dubinsky

Santa Fe

Needing real analysis

In any normal business, if you were proposing a major project, say building a $5.7 billion wall, you would have to do a cost/benefit analysis — and your assumptions and numbers had better check out. I have yet to see any numbers-based analysis on the benefit side of our president’s wall project — not marketing sound bite assertions (mostly misleading generalizations or outright lies), but real numbers-based, most-likely-outcome analysis.

George Weston

Santa Fe

Working it out

If Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would give Donald Trump some words he can live with, perhaps an end to this crisis can be found. Let him say that they (she) wanted to change the name and he graciously agreed to that. He must not lose face. But what is a composite wall? Some stretches of concrete, some stretches of steel, more guards, better electronics, additional judges, more holding facilities, better documentation — to the tune of $5.7 billion. Work it out. I will help if you want. I have worked in defense.

John Dienes, Ph.D.

Los Alamos

High anxiety

When I reflect on the impact Donald Trump, as president, has had on our country, it conjures up flashbacks of The Manchurian Candidate.

Robert Garcia

Santa Fe

Ignore them

Nice write-up on the governor’s first State of the State address (“Governor charges into session,” Jan. 16), but I was disappointed to see a side story on a gun-toting, small-town mayor earn front-page coverage as well (“Mayor with gun protests high security,” Jan. 16). It’s 2019. When people wear a gun in a public place, they certainly don’t do so for safety or security. No, I believe they display their weapons to taunt and intimidate others and, more than anything else, to get attention. By giving the story front-page notice (a story that continued on Page A-5), the paper pandered to his childish and dangerous behavior and encouraged others to follow suit.

We can’t ignore gun wearers when we see them out in public. They are a frightening part of our modern society and need careful observation, but neither do we need to publicize or romanticize their actions.

Stewart A. Herd


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