A day of reckoning has struck America. The sadness I feel goes beyond what America should be, but I hope still can be.

We have seen a truth that many on both sides have come to realize is destroying our once-unified values of responsibility, honesty and fairness in how we treat one another, whether it be the leaders or the followers.

I’ve wondered, had this been our last president, would I defend him to the point of complete denial of the facts?

Would I defend someone who has (as the facts have shown, and the hidden facts would support) compromised his oath of service, compromised the principles and values of democracy across the globe, made scapegoats of anyone who opposes, as well as degraded women, minorities, any opposition and the political party he chose to deceive?

Our enemies are good friends with our leader and we have turned our back on our allies. What can we possibly be thinking in terms of a free and peaceful world?

The Republicans have bonded with each other ... but no one else.

The Democrats have bonded with each other ... but no one else.

The independents have no leader ... and are hoping for a unifier, though none exists.

The religious (of whom I’m a part), as history has shown, blindly follow when they have lost this base of compassion to uphold and serve each other.

I can only hope, pray and live, serving as best I can, to make this a better world.

Which leaves us where?

Will you join me? Become a better person, look beyond this divisiveness that is destroying a country that once was the world leader, and work to make this planet as good a place to live as we possibly can.

When people do not stand up for moral leadership, corruption will, and has, taken over.

Keith Myrmel, Arden Hills


John Kass’s argument doesn’t hold up to history’s evidence

I find easily refutable the opinion of John Kass in “Think about the implications of ‘The Resistance’ ” (Opinion Exchange, Dec. 22). He cites journalist Kimberley Strassel’s view that the impeachment of President Donald Trump grew out of unjustified partisan rage by “the resistance.”

I cite Zoe Lofgren, the only member of Congress who has participated in the Judiciary Committee for all three modern impeachment proceedings. She is known as a moderate voice of restraint amid divisive partisan bickering. During the Nixon proceedings, she was on the staff of congressman Don Edwards, who correctly explained that a presidential offense only is impeachable if it upsets the constitutional order and threatens the republic itself.

Using this as benchmark, Lofgren concludes that Trump’s abuse of power surpasses Nixon’s. President Richard Nixon tried to influence an election and covered up his attempt. Donald Trump did not only that, but he solicited a foreign power to improperly influence an election. Bill Clinton committed no election meddling and no subverting of the Constitution.

Another Kass point must be refuted: “The spurious attacks on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh through uncorroborated allegations that he was a sex predator helped delegitimize the high court.”

What spurious attacks? Uncorroborated allegations? To me, Kass’ accusations indicate sexist dismissal of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. Corroborating evidence started to emerge but was never investigated because the president had the power to limit the investigation. And the Republican Senate quickly confirmed Kavanaugh’s appointment.

The quick elevation of Kavanaugh made it appear unseemly to continue questioning his fitness as a Supreme Court justice. Corroboration is not irrefutable proof, which is nearly impossible in the case of sexual assault. The shabby treatment of Blasey Ford discourages other victims of sexual assault to come forward. Another win for sexual predators.

Jeanette Blonigen Clancy, Avon, Minn.

• • •

Kass, and the author he touts in his Sunday column about the dire consequences of the Trump “resistance,” have short memories. Challenges to the legitimacy of a president certainly damage a vital American institution. But it is the height of hypocrisy for Trump and his supporters to blame the resistance for this latest iteration of our toxic politics.

It was Trump, after all, who repeatedly cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2016 election in the weeks leading up to his surprise victory, and his supporters who vowed to impeach “Crooked Hillary” on day one of her presidency. And it was Trump who stoked his base as a leading proponent (and the lead investigator) of the racist lie of birtherism.

Unlike Trump’s attacks on the legitimacy of the Obama presidency, there are substantial reasons to view the Trump presidency as illegitimate. The question of whether GOP voter suppression and Russian interference swung Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin Trump’s way cannot be answered with certainty. But given the narrow margins in those key states, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Russia’s targeted interference, aided by internal polling data that the Trump campaign inexplicably provided to Russian intelligence, made the difference.

Hand-wringing over the damage caused by the Resistance would be more credible if Trump supporters had called him out for doing the exact same thing, with far less evidence, in the run-up to 2016.

Frederick Grunke, St. Cloud


A deceptive stereotype

Looking at my three favorite newspapers, I was struck by the front-page photos for the first day of Hanukkah — all three portraying Orthodox Jewish men in their traditional black felt hats and great coats, preparing to light the first candle of the eight day-celebration. (“Warmed by faith, tradition,” Dec. 23)

Judaism is a big tent for many different branches of the religion, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and others, including my own, Secular Humanism. Orthodoxy is far from the majority of those of us identifying as Jews, and it is basically a stereotype, and the one frequently associated with prejudicial writings and drawings. Perpetuating a stereotype is neither representative of Jews nor Judaism.

How about photos of a mother with her children lighting the first candle? Or a family gathered at the table for a meal of traditional potato latkes while celebrating the occasion? That would be much more representative and it would not convey the false impression that Judaism is a monolithic belief.

Alan Miller, Eagan


We could learn from the movies

The newest “Star Wars” movie has a lot to say about good vs. evil. About hope and the abuse of power. Timely in today’s political clime. We must always remember that “They win by making you think you are alone ... but we’re not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them.” A great couple of quotes from the movie. Remember them. Every time you hear bad or fearful news. Every time you feel things are hopeless. Don’t give in to the fear, keep fighting for goodness, kindness, humanity.

Kerry Anderson, Plymouth

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