The Star Tribune Editorial Board’s Oct. 2 editorial, “Wrong response to Trump’s visit,” is the wrong response to our city leaders’ statements. Yes, Donald Trump is “the sitting president,” and yes, “the office deserves the respect of all Americans,” but to imply that Trump represents that office is a mistake.
The editorial conflates the two, but Trump merely occupies that office. His demeanor, statements and values continually show that he does not and cannot live up to the scope, dignity or seriousness of the presidency. Statements by our city’s leaders do not denigrate the presidency but in fact hold that office to a much higher standard than the current occupant has demonstrated or is even capable of demonstrating.
Van Anderson, Minneapolis
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I commend the Star Tribune in recognizing the importance of respecting the office of president of the United States, regardless of the occupant. I concur that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council should not forget they do not just represent those who share their beliefs or ideology. They certainly do not speak for me, and I regret that I live in a state that appears to be going the way of the East and West Coasts instead of representing the true spirit of the heartland.
Janice Janes, Cambridge, Minn.
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The wrong response to Trump’s visit was the editorial itself. This is another example of opinion writers trying so hard to be evenhanded that they inadvertently (I assume) normalize hate speech and ineptitude. We need more politicians like Frey and more editorial writers speaking out strongly against a president who is making a mockery of the presidency, the Constitution and the United States. That tired trope about respecting the office is another example of making more palatable Trump’s vile comments and behavior. Fascists through history have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds — hardly a reason to justify an open-arms welcome.
Frey is the mayor of Minneapolis, not the governor of Minnesota, and the overwhelming number of his constituents likely thought his response was restrained, relative to the venom we will be hearing from the president during his visit. Come on, Star Tribune — editorial writers are the conscience of America. You can do better.
Kevin O’Brien, Minneapolis
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Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender says “hate is not welcome in our community” and then proceeds to spew out her unwarranted, hateful comments. Frey frightens people by saying the city will only try to keep everyone safe. Think about whether this is useful city leadership.
Bill Halling, Edina
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According to the Editorial Board, Minneapolis officials shouldn’t denounce Trump on the eve of his visit because “the office deserves the respect of all Americans.” I wonder when the Editorial Board will show some respect for that office by calling for Trump’s resignation or removal from it.
Chris Evans, Maple Grove
GIRLS’ AND BOYS’ SPORTS
Actually, coverage is well-balanced
I’m going to stick up for the Star Tribune’s high school sports coverage after a letter writer castigated the paper for its lack of female coverage in their Preps Extra section (“Girls’ sports deserve prominence,” Readers Write, Oct. 2). I certainly won’t disagree with the amount in male vs. female coverage during fall sports season; the fact is that football in Minnesota is extremely popular. It has been for years, and even with the injury commentaries going on, the sport is king around here.
If the Star Tribune would expand its coverage to more pages, they would need more reporters and would spend more money getting the paper published. I doubt that will happen.
Finally, I have to say that the high school reporting staff is exceptional. Read carefully every week all the coverage we get in the paper and realize how much territory these reporters have to travel to and report on. Their in-depth coverage — not just on top teams, but on smaller programs, and with highlights of all the different athletes — is plain amazing. And I’ll also note that I think they do a great job covering female sports as well — they just finished a spotlight on swimming and diving with a focus on one family in the metro area. And in yesterday’s sports section, a note that this talented diver has just committed to the University of Minnesota.
I don’t see how we can beat down the high school coverage. Would it be nice to see more? Of course, but it can’t come at the cost of covering anything now covered less.
Jim Stromberg, North Oaks
To stop suicides, stop desire for war
The Star Tribune’s Sept. 30 editorial “Another grim report on veteran suicides” was a reaction to the recently released Department of Veterans Affairs’ report on veteran suicides which compared (latest available) veteran suicide statistics from 2017 with those from 2016 and found that though the VA has made great efforts to prioritize stemming the flow of suicides across the nation, the situation continues to get worse. Time will tell if the 2018 and 2019 statistics improve the picture.
But, anyone having returned from the hell of war and personal combat would understand that the psychic damage caused to young men and women — especially after multiple tours to the Middle East — is predictable. The damage is deep and lasting: often a moral injury for what actions were personally committed to others in the name of “war and country.” Or, it’s simply the incredible damage done to our own personhood when we become targets in another land and are exposed to such violent actions and memories.
If we want to stop the suicides, we need to provide the psychological support systems and care necessary. The VA tries to do this even when Congress and the president continue to underfund the VA in face of 49,000 unfilled VA staff positions nationally, including in our own local Minneapolis VA. But additionally, if we truly want to stop this bloodshed, we need to stop our nation’s insatiable desire to go to war in the first place.
Jeff Roy, St. Louis Park
How about an anthem to humanity?
I was greatly disappointed by President Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations, decrying globalism and extolling nationalism (“Trump’s misguided attack on globalism,” editorial, Sept. 25). Throughout our history, the people of the world have tended to come closer together, through increased travel, trade and communications. Now is not the time to go backward, to retreat to our borders through isolationism and fear. As the old saying goes, “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.”
Perhaps we need a world anthem to be a concrete symbol of our common humanity. The tune could be chosen by the United Nations. It should be simple, short and easy to sing. Then each nation could provide its own lyrics, in its own language, on the brotherhood of humankind. The anthem could be sung at international events, including sporting events. It would be quite beautiful to hear the many rich languages of the world join in one melody, and it would be a small reminder of our shared humanity.
John Robison, Northfield
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