“A vote for Trump is a vote against Minneapolis”? Seriously, it’s come to this? (“The Twin Cities don’t speak for the state,” Opinion Exchange, Nov. 12.)

Let me get this straight. Ari Kaufman thinks that a Minnesotan in Farmington or Fergus Falls or Faribault should vote for a billionaire from New York simply to punish Minneapolis? For what? Because our city has a plan that will allow for more housing density? Because violence broke out outside the Target Center after the Trump rally? Because our mayor demanded that President Donald Trump’s campaign prepay for policing and other services at his rally rather than stick taxpayers with the bill? Because we all live in a bubble and couldn’t care less about the rest of the state?

Come on.

I love this state. I love that we teach our kids to be honest, to treat others with respect and to stand up to bullies. I love that we stand with our neighbors, all our neighbors, from Mankato to McGregor to Moose Lake to Minneapolis and all towns in between.

We already have a wall going up in Texas; we don’t need to build another one here.

Timothy Hennum, Minneapolis

• • •

A vote for Trump may be a vote against Minneapolis. A vote for Trump is also a vote for allowing a racist to live in the White House.

Mark J. Weber, Minneapolis

• • •

I hope Kaufman works for the Heritage Foundation, because I haven’t seen a better assemblage of scary support for the thesis that the metro area is a hotbed for liberal dysfunction and intolerance that will eventually push greater Minnesota to build a majority for a more balanced candidate who can turn Minnesota red. Wait a minute — does Kaufman mean Trump?

To hear the writer tell it, the metro is a cauldron of “growing crime” and “mob-style attacks,” opposition to “sensible projects that help greater Minnesota,” “Omar’s offensive rants” and the sordid history of Black Lives Matter. So many scary things and colors.

Kaufman wonders what the average St. Cloud or Mankato resident thinks about this. Well, as one of the latter, I’m not crazy about protesters who throw containers of urine, shout down speakers or assault journalists. But we should remember that the assault on a free press happens inside the arena at every Trump rally, that those who speak up are whisked outside and sometimes beaten up along the way. And as for throwing urine, the man at the podium supports a trickle-down economy that accomplishes the same thing on a larger scale every day, its target being the American middle class.

Richard Robbins, Mankato, Minn.

• • •

Proximity over politics? I don’t think so.

In Kaufman’s greater Minnesota opinion piece, he seems to be making the assumption that the political, cultural and geographic divides are inevitable, despite pointing out two leading state Democrats who routinely bridge this purported gap. While there is no denying the current level of animosity that exists, I would encourage Kaufman to consider his own commentary for its frequent use of rhetoric and generalization and its intentionally divisive tone.

In fact, expanding on the commentary’s headline, no one community or region can speak for the state. But what binds us together, I believe, is far stronger than what separates us: We Minnesotans are a reserved but giving people who care about our neighbors. Equating a pro- or anti-Trump stance with an urban/rural or even Republican/Democrat stance is to overstate Mr. Trump’s ability to speak for anyone. Irrespective of politics, I think Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s statements regarding Trump’s Minneapolis rally could be generalized to, “Messages of hatred should never be welcome in Minnesota.” From either side. Or even from the middle.

Everyone in the state, whether living in an urban, suburban, exurban or rural location, cares about “jobs, better roads, prosperous farms.” Because we care about our neighbors. And I believe that at their core, everyone also is in favor of giving “support [to the] police and our military.” Because we care about our own well-being, too.

These are not “divisive” issues; there is no manufactured “divide” here. And the sooner we step around this obstructive “winner or loser” and “with me or against me” posturing, the sooner we can start working to make the state, and the world, a better place to live. For all of us.

Paul Nylander, Minneapolis

LIGHT-RAIL CRIME

More context, please

Monday’s article about crime on the light-rail lines missed some important information (“Serious crimes up on light rail,” front page, Nov. 11). The article described the rise in crime, giving numbers for 2018 and to date in 2019. The numbers are clearly up — which certainly fits the headline. But farther down in the story is a sentence that ridership is also increasing, expected to surpass 2018. No percentage is given. Well, that information is crucial to the story. If ridership is up, say, 15% and crime is up 20%, there’s a rise in crime but not a massive one. If, on the other hand, ridership is up 2% and crime is up 20%, that’s a whole lot more serious. We need the whole story to make sense of the data.

Lynn Lucking, St. Paul

TRUMP’S TRUTHFULNESS

Ignoring 14,000 pieces of evidence

In light of former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s comments about the president’s supposed truthfulness, it’s worth noting that the president is approaching the 14,000th-lie mark since taking office, according to the Washington Post. Nearly 14,000 times, the president has lied to the American people. He’s lied about the border wall being built. Lied about winning the Electoral College by the biggest margin. Lied about poll numbers, voter fraud, the trade deficit, passing the largest tax cut ... You get the point.

The bottom line is this: Anytime a politician goes on the record about the president’s truthfulness, any reporter should immediately have a list of the lies the president has told. Get the politician on record defending the president’s lies. Don’t do it once; get them on the record for multiple lies (there are 14,000 to choose from!). Don’t let them pivot, don’t allow “whataboutisms,” don’t allow them to walk away. Anytime anyone talks about his truthfulness, call them out. Because 14,000 lies from the president is the definition of fake news.

Jack Parker, Minneapolis

HISTORY

Native Americans and founders can share a commemorative month

President Donald Trump cannot even make a proclamation extolling our American history without offending the Star Tribune Editorial Board (“A needless hurt,” Nov. 9). There are dozens of special months recognized by presidential proclamation ranging from African-American Music Appreciation Month (June) to National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (January), National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (May). Many more of these special proclamations are shared in the same month.

National Native American Heritage Month and National American History and Founders Month (both in November) are admirable. If you can get students to read and study and appreciate our nation’s history, so much the better in these days of lowered academic achievements.

As for the board’s criticism of “Disneyfied” versions of history, I am willing to bet that if young children can be exposed to such Disney movies as “Davy Crockett,” Johnny Tremain,” “Pearl Harbor,” “National Treasure,” “Lincoln” and “Pocahontas,” a spark may ignite some child to further explore our American history and its achievements — warts and all.

Mark Luther, Minnetonka

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