President Donald Trump and his party have blocked all inquiry into what many believe to be an impeachable offense (“Trump trial starts with GOP block on evidence,” front page, Jan. 22). The president denies all wrongdoing while proclaiming his innocence and persecution. He has called impeachment a hoax.

Suppose the impeachment is a hoax. Suppose the Democrats made all of this up. Suppose the president is innocent. Suppose that it was a perfect phone call. Then why can’t those who could prove his innocence testify before the Senate?

Imagine how humiliating it would be for the Democrats if their impeachment was shown to be false. Imagine how the president would rejoice! He would be proven right! The impeachment would be shown as a hoax! His supporters would be vindicated! The Republicans would sweep the 2020 elections! But that will not happen. Instead, the president and the Republican Party are playing to the gallery using name-calling and lies to create polarization and distrust. America has nothing to gain from the distrust and discord spilling out from those tactics.

What kind of president makes war against the institutions of government he was elected to lead? What kind of president decides it is better to encourage discord rather than unity among us? What kind of president blocks the very testimony that could prove him innocent?

A guilty president.

Charles Hanson, St. Louis Park

• • •

One thing is certain: The impeachment proceedings are unlikely to result in a clear-cut winner and loser. And that is because the entire process is being conducted by politicians who are consumed by their political ambition. House Democrats were chomping at the bit to impeach the president, regardless of the evidence, and Senate Republicans are equally anxious to render a verdict of acquittal, also without regard for the evidence. One party is right and one is wrong, that much is apparent. The verdict on that score will not be known until November, when the voters render their decision by re-electing Trump or turning him out of office in favor of his Democratic rival.

If, through their vote, the American people decide that the president should serve a second term, the House impeachment will be rendered meaningless, a mere footnote in the history books. Similarly, if the president is refused a second term, an acquittal by the Senate will be equally forgettable. The ultimate judge of the impeachability of the president’s acts will be, as it should be, the American people.

Ronald Haskvitz, St. Louis Park


Not just about declaring a party

A recent letter writer gave readers a brief civics lesson in his “A primary is not a general election” letter to the editor (Jan. 22). He missed one major concern that voters have regarding the present Minnesota primary election: Whoever votes in this primary will have their personal information shared with all the parties involved in the primary. That means that for eternity, voters will be solicited for donations from not just their preferred party, but all of them. My 101-year-old mother, who has never skipped voting, has enough good judgment and common sense to tell me she will miss voting for the first time in her life because she doesn’t want her landline ringing off the wall for the remainder of that life. That is the part of the primary election guidelines that will prevent many voters from voting in the primary. By doing so, we won’t have to “get over it.”

George Larson, Brooklyn Park

• • •

I will not be voting in the upcoming presidential primary. The inconvenience that may result from my declaration of a party affiliation is overwhelming. I may receive a few pieces of mail soliciting a campaign contribution that I will have to put in the recycling bin. I don’t have time in my busy day for that. Additionally, the horror of my voter privacy being compromised is just too much to bear. Somebody may find out that I am a Democrat! I would have a hard time recovering from such a personal invasion.

I will bet, however, that the 55% of countries in the world that are either unfree or have only partly free elections would be willing to put up with a little inconvenience in order to vote. We evidently take our good fortune as U.S. citizens too much for granted.

On second thought, I will be voting in the primary.

Bruce Lemke, Orono

• • •

I would like to comment on the Jan. 22 letter regarding primaries — that they are set up for you to show loyalty to a party, and therefore we should get over it and accept that we will receive volumes of e-mail, phone calls, etc., when we vote in the primary. My problem is that I don’t support either party. And I want to be able to vote in both primaries. Why? Because whoever wins, Democrat or Republican, is supposedly representing me, and I would like some say in that.

Why can’t I vote for the person in each party who I would prefer to be my representative? I know, we adore our two-party system, but, as pointed out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., many of her fellow Democrats would not be in her party in a multiparty country. I find it unfortunate that someone like the letter writer, who teaches political science, is so accepting of the status quo rather than teaching his students to think and maybe find a better way.

Stephen Tornio, Plymouth


This is the best Minneapolis can do?

I am originally from Finland, having relocated into the city right before the new year. While I am delighted by many aspects of Minneapolis, I am deeply disturbed by its bicycling scheme: The city doesn’t encourage people to make the ecological, economic and healthy decision to commute by bike but, instead, we often have to ride in the dark when the streetlights are off. And the city’s long — but scattered — “bicycling roads” have largely been too dangerous to ride because of negligent or absent snowblowing, let alone the conditions on normal roads. Sidewalks, then, are repeatedly so bumpy that we have to be afraid for our bikes or so snowy that we cannot ride at all. As a result, many of us are not able to commute by bike even close to as much as we would like to — and if the conditions are too bad for me, I guarantee you, they are certainly too bad for the majority of cyclists.

According to the city website, however, Minneapolis is ranked as one of the best biking cities in the nation by several organizations and media, which brings me to my second topic. When thinking about the road conditions in the mornings when going to work, I became motivated to speak to the City Council. Unlike in any other city that I’ve lived in, however, both the City Council and Minneapolis “Bicycle Advisory Committee” (I wonder how many of you readers have even heard of that) meet during business hours, which prevents the vast majority of Minneapolitans, including me, from participating.

Since someone decided to have City Council meetings at 9:30 a.m. on Fridays, I hope that someone who is able to exercise this fundamental form of civic engagement could deliver my ideas to our decisionmaking body: Make Minneapolis the first truly bicycle-friendly city in America, and change City Council meetings from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Teemu Karhapaa, Minneapolis

We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here.