Democrats are preaching to the choir, talking about all our favorite issues. But the Trump base either doesn’t care about these issues or strongly disagrees with them. As Democrats, we need to admit this election is not about making sweeping social change. It’s about preventing a (fill in the blank) person like Trump from winning a second term. Then we need to act like it!

But we will never win over anyone from the Trump base by attacking or confronting them. When someone is attacked or someone they like is attacked, minds close. We need to get their attention by reminding them what Trump has done in his first term and what he likely will do in a second term with no worry of re-election. Democrats need to give the Trump base a look into the future: with continued reduction in environmental regulation, loss of the Affordable Care Act with no replacement, cuts to Social Security and Medicare, budget deficits, etc., etc. Democrats need to remind Trump’s base of how that second term will likely affect them personally and negatively. We need to continue to talk about the positive things we are promising, but we need to remind the base of what a second Trump term would mean.

Democrats need to do this one-on-one, as well as in ad campaigns. But we need to do it without attacking or confronting or scolding or demeaning. This is not about winning an argument, it’s about winning an election. Let’s all keep our eyes on the prize!

David A. Hanson, Minneapolis

• • •

With Joe Biden sliding in the presidential nomination race, and far left socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders taking the apparent lead for now, the liberal news media and Democrats quickly jumped on the bandwagon for Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg as they made a small surge in two meaningless (election-wise) states.

But the funny part is that the frantic Dems and the news media outlets called Klobuchar and Mayor Pete “moderates.” Now that is a funny joke! I’m curious how these liberals define the word “moderate”? If these two are moderates, my conservative views must be almost liberal.

Tom R. Kovach, Nevis, Minn.


Get to work, legislators

I am 92 years old and live in a golden palace where all of my needs are met. (Some call this a retirement home.) When I settle down in my warm bed at night I am haunted by the realization that a rising number of 10,000 homeless people in Minnesota are searching for a warm place to sleep every night. Of this number approximately 5,000 are children and unaccompanied youth, according to a 2018 Wilder Research study.

Gov. Tim Walz has proposed a bonding bill to cover many needs such as roads and bridges (“Session has short to-do list, high stakes,” Feb. 12). In it he included $276 million for stable housing for homeless and low-income people who are being priced out of the rental market. Housing (with counseling) has proved to be the first step out of poverty. If you don’t have an address and a place to get cleaned up and look respectable, you probably won’t get a job. Stable housing for the homeless will save us taxpayers thousands of dollars paying for hospital visits, shelters, juvenile justice, prisons and mental illness.

If this concerns you, please write, e-mail or call your legislators and Walz to support his bonding bill.

As my pediatrician grandson says, “It’s a goal we can and must achieve.”

Nell Hillsley, St. Paul


Accept the ruling and play on

I read with interest about the apology tour by the Houston Astros baseball players in the sports section (“Looking back with regret,” Feb. 12). Many sportswriters and other baseball players decried the authenticity of the apologies offered. Some said that the players should also be punished like the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal players who “threw” World Series baseball games that year. They also spoke of voiding the 2017 World Series Championship because of the cheating scandal.

This leads to a “sticky wicket” circumstance. How can you tell which players were exactly complicit in the scandal? Does not saying anything about the practice mean they were just as guilty as the ones actively involved?

As long as there have competitive been games in baseball (or for that matter in any professional sport), there have been players and teams that use the rules, lack of rules, bending of rules, or going outside the rules to give them the edge to win. The Houston Astros were caught (through basically a whistleblower) but I believe that there are many that try to get that edge. It is a part of the unspoken rules of baseball to take advantage when you can. This also pertains to other sports such as the New England Patriots with “Deflategate” and videotaping scandals.

Players and writers can have outrage, but they are not the judge and jury of this situation. As they say, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” The baseball commissioner made a ruling, so let’s move on.

Leland Kulland, Burnsville


Door-knocking works. Do it.

A student who volunteered to door-knock before the Iowa caucuses asked a thought-provoking question: Is door-knocking worth it? (“The high cost, low-efficacy of door-to-door,” Opinion Exchange, Feb. 13).

The answer is a resounding yes, and it is extremely important in this election cycle for potential volunteers to know the reason why.

Put simply, door-knocking is the most cost-effective way of increasing voter turnout. In the 2019 edition of their book, “Get Out the Vote,” political scientists Donald Green of Columbia University and Alan Gerber of Yale reached this conclusion from their exhaustive review of the research on voter mobilization.

Their cost estimate using paid staff appears high — about $30 per vote — but it is significantly less than other methods with the possible exception of certain voter registration drives. Importantly, when volunteers door-knock, the cost drops to near zero.

Keep door-knocking, students. You can make a difference.

Kathy Christensen, Edina


Now that the cold has passed ...

There has been lots of talk about nature deficit disorder, mostly related to children who spend so much time indoors.

And there is more research that shows that adults too need a minimum of 20 minutes of fresh air and activity in the outdoors daily. It is good for the mental and physical health of us all.

It would also be great if we could encourage all of our U.S. presidents to get outside to experience all this country has to offer — perhaps fishing on one of the lakes, rivers or coastal areas. Maybe hunting in a National Wildlife Refuge. Or perhaps the presidents could get out and hike in our national parks. They would be more likely to fund those parts of our government that they know by experience.

Children, adults and all of our elected officials — get outside for your own enjoyment and to appreciate the outdoor heritage of this great country.

Charlotte Brooker, Maplewood



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