Letters To The Editor 8/23/2018

August 23, 2018

Moral deficiency

Editor: There have been a few letters in The Times-Tribune supporting the path this nation is taking, including one recently from Tex Clauss, of Clarks Summit, in which he declares that he “will withhold opinion until I can say with certainty whether (President) Trump’s tenure has had any positive or negative effect in my life.”

There’s a poem, “First They Came,” that warns us of that mentality. German pastor Martin Niemöller wrote it after World War II, noting that first one group and then another and then another were singled out but he said nothing because he wasn’t in that group. Then they came for him and there was nobody left to speak up for him.

Just as Clauss’ legal U.S. residency status has not been revoked, nor is he part of a refugee couple whose child was taken from before the parents were deported without that child, Clauss and other Trump supporters apparently don’t speak out because it’s not their life.

So the Trump apologists vocally stand on the wrong side of history, with a large side order of a lack of basic empathy.

I didn’t think they would admit to it so loudly but I’m not surprised.

This isn’t a political opinion they’re repeating — it’s a moral failing.




Graft redefined

Editor: Donald Trump is the most corrupt president that this nation has ever had.

He has created a culture which the people around him feel comfortable with corruption. Several members of Trump’s cabinet have had to resign because of various ethics violations.

Trump has shown complete indifference to democratic norms and to the rule of law. He uses the presidency to enrich him and his family. He is the first president in modern times to refuse to divest himself of his business interests while in office. His ownership of the Trump International Hotel, in Washington, D.C., for instance, puts him in violation of the emoluments clause in the Constitution.

At least 11 foreign governments have patronized Trump businesses. As one Asian diplomat told the Washington Post, why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks away from the White House?

Presidential historian Robert Dallek has stated that historical examples of corruption do not compare to how Trump and his people have conducted themselves in the White House. Dallek sees the Trump administration as a low point in our history.

He argues that what makes Trump exceptionally dangerous is how effortlessly he lies. He looks right into the camera and lies without any hesitation.

Then we have the investigation into Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election. Does Trump act like someone who is innocent, someone who has nothing to hide? Why have so many people connected to his campaign lied about their contacts with Russians during the campaign?

Remember President Richard Nixon and Watergate? It wasn’t the actual crime that did Nixon in, it was Nixon’s efforts to cover it up.




Preserve free press

Editor: Let’s see: President Trump says the news media are the enemy of the people.

What is scary is that polls indicate 51 percent of Republicans believe this.

Reporting the news, whether you like it or not, is democracy in action. We are not Russia or a communist country. Attacking the press like Trump does is scary.

We are America, where freedom of the press is essential. Heaven forbid, if any reporter is attacked, the blood would be on Trump’s hands. Long live the press and thanks for the job you do.




Enemy misidentified

Editor: Just who is the enemy of Americans?

Is it really the news media? Is your local newspaper your enemy? How about the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times or The Washington Post? How about MSNBC or Fox News? If you don’t like what these news outlets offer, does that really make them enemies of America?

News outlets helped our nation become an independent democracy. They kept us informed about our successes and failures in wartime and in peacetime. They told us of how President Richard Nixon had done wrong and how President Abraham Lincoln had done right. They told us why some wars were just and others were not.

Without news media to keep an eye on government, a criminal element could easily take command. We may not like the views of the opposing parties, but it’s the only way to learn the truth. Both the right and the left are right part of the time and both are wrong part of the time. The media that tell us when both are wrong at the same time.

To suggest that all news media or even a very few are our enemy is dangerous to our democracy. The First Amendment to the Constitution gives the media the right to warn us if government oversteps its authority. It makes us aware of disasters and even good news from time to time. We are informed by the news media whether we like it or not and we need it whether we like it or not.

The real enemy is the one who tries to get us to believe that the media are the enemy.




Keep the faith

Editor: Do not be confused or forget what faith is all about.

For people who believe in God, nothing can take it from you. The horrible and inexcusable things just revealed about bad priests in a grand jury report should not take belief in God away from the faithful because some bad human beings have done evil things. God will always be there for us.

I cannot recall the numerous small prayers he has answered for me. I believe all evil priests and those who are guilty should go to jail like any other criminal. I also believe that people should go back to their churches, synagogues and other houses of worship and pray for our country and our people.

These fires and floods may cease if we all pray together and pray for peace.



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