The answer on whether to hold the inauguration as planned or slip inside, as the Star Tribune Editorial Board urges, is in the last words of its own editorial: "Presentation matters" ("Move Biden's swearing-in inside," Jan. 17).

There has to be some kind of special event to provide the message that we are closing the chapter on President Donald Trump and turning the page, hopefully, to a new sanity. We can't let the delusional and their perhaps well-meaning but deceived and misled followers succeed. By skulking inside for the swearing-in, we will hand them evidence that they have successfully interfered with our democratic and governmental processes. If they want to make a mess at the perimeters, so be it. We'll still have cameras on what's important and show the world that still we persisted.

Presentation matters.

Dennis Fazio, Minneapolis
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Another precedent for the Editorial Board's position encouraging an indoor inauguration is the relatively recent second inaugural of Ronald Reagan. Due to the weather a (presumably) hasty decision was made to have the Jan. 20, 1985, ceremony in the White House, followed the next day by a larger, public one in the Capitol rotunda.

It would make enormous sense to do something similar this week. Any chance for a sense of normalcy is a ship that has, regrettably, already sailed.

Brian Kaatz, Park Rapids


The oath-breakers in Congress

Our elected representatives in the U.S. House and the Senate take the same oath to the Constitution that military officers do. And that is what bothers me so much about those elected officials who blatantly betrayed our Constitution by signing on with the Texas attorney general and his attempt to overthrow our presidential election. Five hundred and sixty-five classmates took that same oath along with me at West Point on June 3, 1964. Twenty-six would subsequently give their lives in combat for our Constitution, as have over 60,000 members of the military since then, all over the globe.

Those in Congress who blatantly ignored their sacred obligation to our Constitution and their oath to support it without reservation should either resign or be removed as a consequence of their betrayal. This includes Reps. Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach from Minnesota. Over 60,000 unlived lives paid the ultimate price; the 150 or so seditious members of Congress who ignored their oath in an attempt to overthrow a fair election and thus the Constitution should pay the tiny price of losing their jobs.

Robert Carlson, St. Paul
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The letter writers expressing opposition to a Senate impeachment trial on the basis of "be careful what you wish for" arguments were unconvincing. One suggestion was that it would be difficult to find supporters of President Donald Trump who would testify that they had stormed the Capitol because of the president's words. But many of the rioters have already admitted on video that they were involved in the insurrection precisely because "Trump told us to do this." Another bogus argument cited is that an impeachment trial would open the door for a full airing of Trump's claims of election fraud. The truth is that these claims have already had a fair hearing in dozens of courts and have been found to be baseless.

Democrats and loyal Republicans should welcome a chance in a Senate impeachment trial to prove one more time that Joe Biden won a free and fair election, and that Trump's protestations to the contrary are nothing but the ravings of the worst sore loser in American history.

David Landry, Roseville
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Franklin Graham's recent claim that Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have betrayed him in the same way that Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ is a stain on American Christianity and true Christians. Does Graham really mean to place Donald Trump in the same high place as Jesus in this comparison? Graham, along with too many other so-called Christians, have raised Trump to sit in the judgment seat. Too many have ceased to be Christians but have become Trumpians. "Our Father, who art in Mar-a-Lago ..."

Dan Martin, Minneapolis
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Congressional Republicans argued during the House impeachment hearings that Democrats should be moving forward to unite the country, rather than looking way back to the storming of our nation's Capitol, in an attempt to place blame on a president who is leaving office. So, looking forward, will congressional Republicans (like our Minnesota Republican delegation) now give President-elect Joe Biden what amounts to a free pass to do the equivalent of:

• Violating the public trust by making more than 30,000 false or misleading public statements?

• Supporting voter-suppression efforts in opponent party strongholds and directly attempting to tamper with the results of a national election?

• Racking up a high civilian body count by down playing the danger of a worldwide pandemic and holding political rallies without masks?

• Stoking the fires of hatred and prejudice based on lies, to the point that his followers feel justified in engaging in deplorable acts of violence and insurrection?

Are congressional Republicans now going to give Biden the same free pass to do these kinds of things that they have given to Trump? If Biden were to engage in these kinds of egregious activities, and the Democrats sought to impeach him and remove him from office, would congressional Republicans come to Biden's defense, arguing that he hadn't done anything worse than what Trump had done during his presidency?

John A. Mattsen, New Brighton
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Haven't we all had enough? How many column inches must be dedicated to articles, quotations, commentaries and letters justifying "my side's" anger, violence, abusive rhetoric or excesses by cherry-picked interpretations of allegedly "worse" behavior on "your side"? No one can claim the moral high ground in a debate over whose side is less wrong! The moral high ground is not defined by who wins but by who advances peace and respect.

Can we all just admit that things have happened, intended or unintended, in which protest and anger have turned to unacceptable behavior? Can we all just admit that we share some part, however small we prefer to believe it, in causing others to hear our comments as encouraging hatred and even violence? Can we all look in our individual and collective mirrors to ask how we can contribute to a future of justice, peace and respectful communication for all? Can we all learn a lesson in goodness from all this?

Michael L. Tillmann, Owatonna


Wave at me while my car slides by

Fellow Minneapolitans, does your car carom down the street like a bowling ball down a padded bumper lane? If so, thank our fair city, which inexplicably decided to forgo curb-to-curb plowing after the last snowfall (2.5 inches). With no snow emergency called, the plows simply drove around thousands of cars parked on the streets, leaving behind mounds of snow and creating narrow lanes with raised barriers of ice that will be with us the rest of the winter. Now, on supposedly two-way streets, we take turns driving gingerly over the slippery berm, praying our car won't slide back into the lane, then come to a standstill as the other car inches by. Next block, perhaps the other driver will scoot over the ice mound and stop to allow you to pass.

Repeat these maneuvers block after block, week after week, until spring. Don't forget a "thank you" wave to drivers who politely move over (but no waves to the city)!

Kristin Heiberg, Minneapolis

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