What will happen if President Donald Trump is re-elected? Will the Democrats accept the results? They question whether or not the president will accept the results if he loses, but that goes both ways. I think it’s reasonable to assume everything will be contested regardless of who is elected. New lows will be seen from both political parties.

I think the larger question is how will the people in our country react if Trump is re-elected and confirmed as the next president. Will those of you on the losing side be able to come to grips with the fact that the majority of voters disagree with your political opinions, about who resides in the Oval Office, and the direction of the country?

Let us all agree to accept the legal results, demand the same from both political parties, and move forward. I stand first in line!

Martin Evans, Bloomington

• • •

Wednesday’s letters were a great indication that many are realizing that the extreme factions of our two-party system are controlling the narrative and how both sides have been made to think that everyone voting for the opposing party embraces the extreme ideals of that party’s platform (“We are playing with partisan fire,” Readers Write). I would assume that a large majority of our nation’s voters don’t identify with either extreme but rather could embrace the good things from each party’s platform. Has there ever been, in recent memory, a better time for a viable third party? Our present two-party system is almost as old as our country. I’m reminded of Ralph Nader’s quote: “The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.” So much for our “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Tom Intihar, Brooklyn Park


The grief for 200,000 dead

Two hundred thousand people ... merely another statistical milestone? No, much more than that. Not a dry statistic, but 200,000 individual lives lost one by one to this virus. A virus that the president knew in February was more deadly than the flu and was transmitted through the air. Yet he lied about it, allowing it to spread, taking far more deaths than it might have. He downplayed the severity. He downplayed wearing masks. His lies cost too many lives.

Two hundred thousand families, plus countless numbers of friends, unable to be with their loved ones as they lay dying due to severe contagion, unable to properly mourn due to the need to socially distance, unable to understand how and when the virus attacked their family. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows pain, but to now learn that the president could have acted to protect American lives is a dagger to an aching heart.

As Americans, we owe the several million friends and family our compassion and our apologies for the failure of an American president to protect their loved ones. To honor their loss, let us each commit to the individual action required to protect our fellow citizens and to try to keep the toll from its projected doubling in the next months. We know the president and members of his party won’t take the political risk of asking their supporters to wear masks, maintain social distance or show common concern for others.

Thus, each of us must take on the leadership role that the president has failed to accept. Honor the lives lost. Protect your loved ones and others in our communities. And never let the increasing numbers become mere statistics. Although the totals are staggering, each single number represents untold grief to an American family.

Bruce Anderson, St. Cloud, Minn.

• • •

Bringing attention to the tragic death of 200,000 Americans due to COVID-19 is a laudable use of media power, but using those deaths to score political points is not. In Tuesday’s editorial (“A grim COVID-19 milestone: 200,000”), the Star Tribune Editorial Board rightly criticizes President Donald Trump for not taking the use of masks seriously. But why is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the person most looked to for advice on combating the virus, let off the hook? In early March, Fauci advised against wearing masks. He says he did so because masks were in short supply, but does that really matter to those who contracted the virus and died? And what effect would Trump’s use of a mask have had, if Fauci was advising against it? None, I would suggest. The board points out that people on the University of Minnesota campus have been observed congregating without using masks, suggesting that they are doing so because the president has failed “to set an example.” I can’t think of a population less likely to emulate Donald Trump than college students.

Ronald Haskvitz, Golden Valley

• • •

I’m so utterly perplexed by our current national and state safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 and mask-wearing. I was dismayed on a recent trip, where I would generously say that half of the people at the airports of Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque took mask-wearing seriously. And enforcement of rules was completely absent for those who just chose to remove their masks while waiting at the gate.

Delta Air Lines has been deservedly recognized for booting passengers who refuse to wear a mask onto the plane. But could someone please explain how masks are required for communal safety on a plane, right up until the point that Cheez-Its and cookies make their first appearance? The entire plane can remove masks to eat and drink and aerosolize whatever’s in their lungs. Are we in fifth grade? We can’t go two hours without a treat? During a pandemic?

It pains me to see this same objectively unscientific policy in place in other industries. A restaurant staff has to wear masks the entire time, but customers don’t. How does that possibly make sense? Or how you can’t go into a coffee shop without a mask, but you can take it off when you sit down. Because sitting makes your germs go away? I don’t think so. Could this just possibly be why dining indoors increases your risk of getting COVID-19?

This is ludicrous. How long do we want this pandemic to last? We’re existing in a nebulous gray zone that isn’t very safe while also not being very normal. The thing is, we cannot get back to normal until we are all taking this seriously. And toward that end, living in this country, I have nothing but doubts.

Travis Anderson, Minneapolis


Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Riggs

Thanks for the fine, sensitive tribute to Dudley Riggs, who touched and tickled millions of us coming of age in the ’60s and ’70s, while introducing us to real coffee (who knew?). (“He was godfather to the Twin Cities comedy scene,” front page, Sept. 23.) And I know Mr. Riggs would appreciate the irony of the subhead of the article abutting his story: “Candidates for Minnesota Legislature promote group claiming Satanists run U.S.” Perfect.

Marta Fahrenz, Bloomington

• • •

“Riggs himself was known for reading the newspaper out loud to provoke laughs.” Wednesday’s paper, I’m afraid, did not provoke many laughs. So I want to thank the Star Tribune for the front-page obituary for Dudley Riggs. I found this article to be informative and truly uplifting as I learned about a good man who has made such a significant contribution to the life of our community. Thank you. (And thank you for putting it on Page 1.)

Gordon Nilsen, Champlin

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