This is a momentous day. I grieve, and despite the urging of well-meaning people, I dare to hope. I did not vote for Donald Trump. He is not a man that I admire. But he is my president. And I am his constituent, and his employer. Interesting course of events. I wonder if Mr. Trump realized that he would have millions of employers as president. He does. And he now must act accordingly, displaying the dignity, wisdom and strength needed for this highest office of the nation. I plan to watch, pray for this administration, and exercise my constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly. President Trump will need all of us. And we need him to display the character and values that have made this country great. I mean it.
Kristy Harms, Lakeville
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America is a free land once again! The darkness of atheist, socialist, globalist oppression has been lifted! We are back under the Constitution again of the founding fathers. They weren’t the founding comrades, as the left would want us to believe.
Joel C. Elliason, Hudson, Wis.
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Thank you to the woman quoted in the Jan. 19 article “Women for Trump hoping for change” who said about Trump’s remarks about groping women: “I hear this stuff, but I laugh at it.” I and virtually every woman I am close to, including my daughter and sister, have been sexually harassed or assaulted at least once in our lifetimes. It is a hideous experience. I didn’t know it was possible, but now I feel even a little bit more betrayed. This man is not my president, now or ever.
Jackie Brux, River Falls, Wis.
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The most disturbing and far-reaching aspect of the Trump presidency will be his ability to appoint two and possibly three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Likely candidates for replacement: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83), Anthony Kennedy (80), Stephen Breyer (78).
Fred Klein, Minnetonka
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I want to congratulate you for successfully winning the election when no one gave you a chance, including me. You have now been sworn in as the 45th president of United States of America. Officially, you are our president (all of us), and we will accord you the respect the office of the presidency deserves. And this brings me to my short wish list:
• Embrace us all.
• Preach unity.
• It’s OK if you don’t fulfill all campaign promises.
In particular, do not move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as you pledged. This will spark unintended consequences. And, frankly, Israelis will tell you it’s not their priority. Here is why:
You’re taking office during a very tumultuous time in the world — a world full of uncertainty and problems. You don’t want to spark fires in the Middle East just because you made a campaign promise. The timing is wrong, especially if you are keen to forge peace between the two parties. It will have no symbolic value other than provoke boycotts across Middle East countries that will be key to peace negotiations.
Thank you for hearing me. Once again, Mr. President, I wish you all the best.
David Sindiga, Roseville
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The Washington Post editorial about worthy ideas coming from Trump and the Congress (reprinted in Short Takes, Jan. 20) was very misguided, particularly in the area of defense spending. I won’t belabor the fact that the U.S. spends more than the next 10 countries combined. That is for another day. Let’s just look at the current defense spending, which has not received enough attention from the media.
In December, Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward wrote a story that was published in the Washington Post about an internal Pentagon study that revealed $125 billion in wasteful defense spending. That amount is 22 percent of the defense budget.
Some politicians decry the fact that the Obama administration put a hold on any increases in defense spending, alleging that the administration did not support our military, but, as this study shows, Obama was right. The military doesn’t need more money. It has all it needs right now.
Unfortunately, the study was buried by the Defense Department, and more important, buried by the press. After the December article, nothing more was made of this release of information. Where was the press when they had a chance to make this bigger news? Why didn’t the press confront the defense secretary and other military leaders with this information and ask hard questions about what they planned to do to turn this around? Why is this not big news?
Mark Anderson, Ramsey
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I can’t understand why the U.S. government would import another drug dealer only to spend millions to prosecute and incarcerate him (“Notorious Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ extradited to the United States,” Jan. 20). Let him serve his time in Mexico. However, El Chapo’s timing is terrible. No more commutations for dope dealers for at least four years.
James M Becker, Lakeville
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I, for one, would like to hear an apology. For what, you may ask? And from whom? From all of the right-wingers who spent the past eight years denigrating President Obama, with accusations of him being a secret Muslim, and that he and his buddies in the Muslim Brotherhood were going to take over the American government. Didn’t happen. In fact, Obama just completed the peaceful transfer of power to Donald Trump, a man who spent five years trying to delegitimize Obama with false birther conspiracies.
Oh, and by the way, it is eight years later and Obama didn’t take your guns.
Douglas Broad, St. Louis Park
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In the days following the presidential election, many good friends reached out to ask if I was scared. They were concerned for my safety as a woman of color after hearing horror stories of people like me being openly harassed.
I was as shocked by their question as they were by my answer. No, I was not scared. Why should I be? I have faced people like our new president before. They taught me from a young age how bigotry can make even the strongest man feel powerless. But my dad taught me how one can still rise.
I was barely 8 when the word “chink” entered my vocabulary. Some of my dad’s co-workers wrote it on a yellow Post-it note and, through an open window, placed it on the driver’s seat of our beat-up family car. My father knew the note was there, but he did not remove it. I asked him what the word meant. “Stupid people,” was all he said, his eyes never reaching mine.
I remember there were whispers in the house about him trying to find a new job. But instead, the next day my father got up and went to work, with the note still there. It wasn’t until years later I would understand why.
In high school, a history teacher asked me to speak to the class about Hmong culture. I dreaded it because I knew what would happen when the spotlight was on the designated minority. After telling my classmates that I was born in a refugee camp and a Lutheran church helped bring my family to America, a kid asked, “Is it true that you eat dog?” The class laughed while my entire body burned with anger. The teacher just looked on, never stepping in to stop the torture.
“It’s not true,” I repeated several times to make sure everyone heard me.
I wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go. I was front and center, representing an entire people’s history. I had to make a choice: fear or courage. I did what my father did. I decided to be courageous.
My awkward 15-year-old-self stood before my classmates and endured all kinds of hurtful and embarrassing questions. I can’t remember how I answered it all. But I do remember it was the first time I truly felt brave. That’s how I imagine it was for my father when he walked back into the manufacturing plant full of people he knew hated him. We had to be brave. If we weren’t, we would be nothing at all.
That’s why a Trump presidency doesn’t scare me. Fear got us here. Courage will be the only way out.
Boua Xiong, St. Paul
The writer is a former KARE-TV reporter.