‘Awaken, become alert and express ourselves’
Patriotism, quite simply, is devotion to one’s country and, ideally, all that one’s country stands for. Nationalism can include that, but Donald Trump is using the word to appeal to a portion of his Republican base, which is tainted with jingoistic attitudes and a bit of 1930s isolationism. Perhaps a psychologist might regard the president as an authoritarian personality; his internal security requires agreeable sycophants, those who flatter and agree with him in servile fashion. There are negative consequences to nationalism, that can be exploited by demagogues to enhance their own power. This adversely affects true patriotism, and when this happens, we should awaken, become alert and express ourselves.
Thank you for the sweet article about Lette Birn and her search dog, Piper (“Helping hounds,” Dec. 18). In a town that loves its dogs (and hiking) so much, I am surprised we don’t see more articles about search and rescue and school safety dogs, but perhaps it is because these dedicated folks are humble and unassuming, quietly doing important and valuable volunteer work in the background. One such person is Santa Fe Search and Rescue volunteer and dog trainer David Crosby, who gives a free public talk about our canine companions once a month at La Farge Branch Library. He is often joined by School for Advanced Research volunteers and experts Jolyn Sanchez and Toni Pearce. The next talk is at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 2, see www.Wabniaq-k9.com for info.Contact Crosby and put yourself and your dog to good use.
Gaia Genevieve Richards
For years I have been watching the clergy sexual abuse story unfold. If we’re going to shed light on a problem, we must turn over every rock along the way. Men may not be the only abusers; churches must cleanse all their ranks to redeem themselves and restore the confidence of congregants.
Best lights ever
Thank you, city of Santa Fe Parks and Recreation Department for the beautiful holiday display of lights on the Plaza. The trees are so colorful and festive. This is THE BEST in all the years that you have been decorating the trees.
Donald Trump and not the “caravan” is the cause of the tension at the southern border of this, the land of the free and the home of the brave. His hard-fisted tactics display an embarrassing lack of compassion and an alarming need to disparage the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” a line from “The New Colossus, “a poem by Emma Lazarus, displayed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. The self-evident conclusion is that Trump’s aim is to cause disorder, then falsely claim that push has come to shove. Feigning outrage, he scowls that the sole way to protect the nation is to fashion policies against those whose lineage threatens his nationalist fantasy.
Teach Santa Fe
I am a fifth grade student at Rains Intermediate School in Emory, Texas. We studied Christopher Columbus and would like to discover more about America, too. I am asking readers to send postcards or letters to me in care of Mrs. Jones’ class, Rains Intermediate, P.O. Box 247, Emory, Texas, 75440, so I can learn more about your city. I thank you in advance.