Vice President Mike Pence wrote a love letter to President Donald Trump and his party that graced the Opinion Exchange page of the Star Tribune on March 28 (“Our tax, energy and trade policies are working for Minnesotans”). The article was misleading in a variety of ways, but particularly so for low-information voters.
Here’s Pence describing how Trump’s policies are “working for Minnesotans.”
“We’ve rolled back the heavy hand of government by eliminating 22 regulations for each new one we’ve issued. Working with Minnesota’s Republicans in Congress, our president has also signed more laws rolling back federal red tape than any president in American history.”
I find that statement downright offensive. Not only was Pence cheerleading raw partisanship, but the so-called “red tape” he so easily dismisses represents lifesaving rules and safeguards put in place for a reason, not the least of which is to save lives. Sure, the CEO or board member concerned about quarterly profits may be smiling in approval, but how about the parents of an asthmatic child or the employee forced to handle hazardous chemicals? Regulations are needed if we don’t want polluters to do whatever they please while leaving the public to suffer the consequences. The policies that Trump and Republicans in Congress are pushing will result in ravaged land, dirtier air and water, and a food supply that is less safe for everyone. Unlike Pence, his president and the trio of local U.S. representatives touted in his article (Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis and Tom Emmer), we Minnesotans simply cannot allow the interests of Wall Street, the polluters and big business to be placed above the health, safety and security of Americans.
Stephen Monson, Golden Valley
HOUSING IN MINNEAPOLIS
Middle-income boomers lack next-stage options in this city
“Builders set sights on South Nicollet” read a headline in the Business section of the Star Tribune on March 26. I eagerly looked for details, hoping that condos would be part of the planned high-rises for downtown Minneapolis. No — all apartments. As a baby boomer who has lived in Minneapolis my whole life and does not want to move to the suburbs at this point, I feel completely left out of the discussion that involves affordable housing. I support increased density, subsidized housing spaces and other ideas being discussed. I do not hear concerns expressed about older citizens who would prefer to leave their single-family dwellings (making their houses available to younger families) and move into one-level living appropriate to their physical needs.
Apartments are not appealing to many older residents. We want to continue to invest in our homes. Townhouses available in the city have been multilevel and largely too expensive for middle-class homeowners. Discussion needs to be broader-based, including housing for middle-income boomers wanting to stay in the city.
Emily Knight, Minneapolis
A GOOD-SAMARITAN TALE
In which I mention ethnicity, because it’s a message we need
“Look for the helpers,” said public television’s Mr. Rogers. On Tuesday night, I lived that lesson.
As I headed across Lake Street for the Interstate 35W southbound on-ramp, I saw that a van had blocked the right southbound lane. A lovely young woman in traditional Somali dress and hijab, looking very worried, was waving traffic toward the far-left lane, away from the right side of the street, cellphone in hand. It turned out that a car just ahead of hers had struck a woman who was lying in the street, weeping in pain.
The Somali woman had blocked the road, called first responders and attracted the attention of a couple of other passersby, who called the woman’s husband, offered her a blanket for warmth, and kept her calm for a short time until police and ambulance arrived. She had a badly injured leg but survived.
If it hadn’t been for the sharp eyes, quick thinking and 911 call of the Somali good Samaritan, the injured woman easily could have been hit again, possibly killed. The helper was being very careful, but she chose to put herself at some risk to save a stranger’s life.
Why am I emphasizing ethnicity, national origin and dress in this “thank you” note? Only because people who look like this woman often are suspected, insulted and denigrated these days. Please remember and share this anecdote — and somehow, let your friends know: Hate has no home here. Look for the healers and helpers in Minnesota — you’ll see many wearing hijabs.
Karen Wills, Bloomington
RUSSIA AND THE WORLD
View No. 1: Finally, unity. View No. 2: Warmongering (again).
It’s encouraging to see the free world link arms against Russia after the U.K. assassination attempt. Finally. It should have happened after any number of Russia’s assaults against decency: the Assad support; the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down; the pervasive, web-based hacking of sovereign entities. The world community is powerless when it comes to the Red tradition of neutering its own internal troublemakers, but speaking out as a group united against their shameless international behavior is long overdue. Good riddance.
Jim Koloc, Eagan
• • •
I must protest vigorously the accepted notion that there has been evidence produced connecting Russia with the poisonings in England. Russia has demanded that Britain, as a signatory of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, cooperate with that body in a real investigation, with Russia allowed to participate. Do we, as intelligent humans, no longer require evidence? This is too reminiscent of Colin Powell’s stunt at the United Nations with the chemical vial that led us into the Iraq war 15 years ago. Britain was with us on that one, too.
Grace Heitkamp, Lonsdale, Minn.
You want a town hall? You can’t handle a town hall!
How can the Star Tribune “use” U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen to sell more newspapers?
Yes! Stoke the fire of his holding conference calls with constituents instead of “in-person” town hall meetings (“Paulsen’s phone calls are a cop-out,” Readers Write, March 28). Don’t mention that the likely reason he doesn’t hold traditional town hall meetings anymore is that the average liberal who would attend has little interest in having a “respectful” conversation but would rather create a chaotic scene to record and post online.
No, thank you, liberals. You’ve wrecked your chances for in-person town halls. Return to acting like adults, and maybe conservative representatives will return to the town halls of yesteryear.
Doug Daggett, Minneapolis