To my Republican friends, 70% of whom evidently think this past election wasn’t free and fair (according to a Politico poll) because of GOP talking heads repeating it endlessly, I beg you to use your powerful brains. Three points:

1) In the weeks before the 2016 election, when Donald Trump thought he was going to lose, he screamed about the entire election being rigged and fraudulent. Then he won, and those concerns were no longer an issue for him.

2) He is currently only bringing lawsuits against the states in which he lost. If widespread voter fraud is as prevalent as he and the GOP elites want us all to believe, why is there not the same level of terrible fraud in Florida, Alaska, etc.? Why is there no fraud in the important battleground states Trump won?

3) If there is such a problem with widespread voter fraud, then how can the U.S. and state GOP senators and representatives possibly accept the fact that they won? It’s literally the same piece of paper, people. You can’t claim that widespread fraud was only on one dot on the millions of ballots.

The truth is that voter fraud is nearly nonexistent. Congratulations to our strong and hyperlocal election system for pulling off an enormous election in the midst of a pandemic. Joe Biden is the president-elect. Each state should enact legislation allowing them to count mail in ballots one to two weeks prior to Election Day so that answers are more readily available.

Cheryl Bailey, St. Paul

• • •

Mr. President, it’s time to go. I know the election doesn’t feel right to you. How could you have lost? But if the Democrats really “stole” the election, wouldn’t they also have stolen more Senate and House seats? Hmm?

And I know you’ve had a good time. That parade in France, the party with the Saudis, the media breathlessly awaiting your every tweet, the free rides on Air Force One. Those were great!

But remember the bad times. Some people actually expected you to govern the country. And, at first, they wanted you to read all those dull briefing papers and security reports — every day. And to show compassion for those losers hit with hurricanes, fires and COVID. Boring.

Let’s think of the good times ahead. The media will still follow your tweets — at least for awhile. You get to keep your Secret Services guys. There will be even more time for golf. And maybe you can build a beautiful media empire — the best — even bigger than Rupert Murdoch’s. Won’t that be fun?

So come on, Mr. President. Let’s go. And if you stop fussing, we can get ice cream.

Sharon Decker, St. Louis Park


We’re polarized. Why add to it?

The insightful and usually comedic Al Franken did not serve his audience well in his opinion piece amplifying the idea that Democrats must be disappointed and even hopeless in face of the obvious political and social divisions in America accentuated by the election (“Bring Americans together? Good luck!” Opinion Exchange, Nov. 12). He rightfully vilifies the extremist media sources that propagate our divisions. But without offering any hope for a solution, his piece is just another divisive rant that he condemns.

I like Franken’s wit and intelligence, but I wish he had used it to help us unite, as he did as a U.S. Senator by meeting with diverse Minnesotans personally and often, and sincerely listening to their concerns. Isn’t that the way out of our insular tendencies — talking with each other, person to person, with respect? I wish Franken had emphasized that. And I wish he had pointed out that we are about to have a president who will bend rhetorical lines toward unification and solutions, giving the media and social discourse a chance to focus on American problems instead of Democrat or Republican problems.

Andrew Kramer, Marine on St. Croix


Really, council members?

How outrageously hypocritical and ignorantly arrogant of Minneapolis City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison to impugn the character and professionalism of Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. In June, the City Council lit the fuse on the “defund the police” movement with its spectacle in Powderhorn Park, and it did so not with a clear plan for the future but an eye on the TV cameras. Members knew the world was watching, and their hollow declaration was more an act of showmanship than leadership. Yet, Ellison has the audacity to tell the chief:

“What I’m hearing is that we don’t have to put together a strategy. We don’t have to put together a plan. We don’t need to provide any budget transparency. ‘Shut up and pay us.’ ” (“Council, chief clash over bringing in outside cops,” front page, Nov. 11.)

How quickly he forgets. The City Council had no plan. The City Council told us to shut up and trust it with our future. And then violence spiked and cops got PTSD and President Lisa Bender and the council passed the buck. Members left Mayor Jacob Frey twisting in the wind when the riots started and used doublespeak to justify their stupid statements that started everything.

For Ellison, his cohorts and especially Bender to claim any moral high ground with the chief or to imply their leadership skills are superior to his means another quote from Ellison should be directed at all of them: “bull[expletive]” and “insincere.”

Rick Ouellette, Minneapolis

• • •

I watched the Minneapolis City Council hearing on the proposal to temporarily contract with police departments from other communities to help mitigate the city’s current crime wave. Despite more than 70 killed and nearly 500 shot and injured this year, several council members dismissed the assertions by Arradondo that additional officers are needed to help protect innocent people from the rising violence.

While others questioned Arrandondo’s competence and motives, new council member Jamal Osman chose instead to share the concerns of constituents in his racially diverse Sixth Ward. Osman stated that public safety is the No. 1 issue that people in the ward are talking about. He also noted that business owners, many of whom are recent immigrants, are struggling to remain open because their customers and employees live in constant fear. But these citizen concerns did not resonate with many council members, who remain committed to promoting a public safety narrative while summarily dismissing opposing viewpoints.

Jerry Anderson, Eagan


The Catholic Church won’t fix this. Our governments must.

I welcome the Associated Press story about the Vatican report regarding the former cardinal, Theodore McCarrick (“ ‘It’s crushing’: Survivors react to McCarrick abuse report,”, Nov. 11).

Once again, we see the unwillingness and even inability of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to confront and resolve its clergy sexual abuse scandal, but this time it’s thanks to a report by the Vatican itself that documents the utter failure of church leadership at the highest level and the many victims who have suffered.

Who can be trusted to right this tilting ship?

Civil governments must take the lead and do what the church won’t do: Find and declare the truth because without the whole and complete truth, there can be no justice, and without justice there will be no healing.

Culprits must be held accountable, regardless of their social or professional status. Doing so serves the common good of our society.

The Rev. James Connell, Milwaukee, Wis.

The writer is a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.



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