So Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, and you guys write that “it bore some noticeable similarities.”

No, it was plagiarism plain and simple. Can you imagine if Mrs. Obama had done something like that back in 2008? My gosh, it would have been front-page news. This was done by either very poor speechwriters or by Trump herself (she claimed she wrote the speech with very little help). It angers me that Donald Trump is allowed to vilify President Obama in ways ranging from the birther issue to planting false statements of his possible involvement in attacks in Orlando, but you once again give a pass to a blatant mistake from a woman who either can’t think for herself or from a Trump organization that is truly inept.

Once again, is this the guy you want running this country?

Katie Wagner, Plymouth

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There is no “if, and or but” about it in the political arena. You are forbidden to use any word previously uttered by someone in the opposing party. With that requirement, they will soon run out of words. Wouldn’t that be a blessing? With enough problems to fill an encyclopedia, our politicians seem to think their time is better spent picking fly specs out of pepper.

Edward P. Kruse, Apple Valley

• • •

The uproar over plagiarism in Melania Trump’s convention speech and falsification of her educational achievements must be understood in context. It is clear to me that sections of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech were inserted into Trump’s presentation and that she did not obtain a university degree in Slovenia. While disheartening, these misrepresentations are not dangerous. What is critical, however, is the extent to which the Trump dynamic is mired in dishonesty.

Donald Trump has demonstrated the disposition to be a serial liar. No one should be surprised that a lack of integrity now is projected into his wife’s behavior. But what happens if Trump is elected POTUS? Will he lie to foreign leaders about international relations related to trade, dispute resolution and military affairs? Will he lie to his fellow citizens about their economic welfare, security and civil liberties?

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Trump is pathologically incapable of consistently telling the truth. That disposition alone disqualifies him from serving as president and commander-in-chief.

Phil George, Lakeville

• • •

From the very beginning, the GOP convention has provided us with lots of misinformation.

The claim that security was told to “stand down” in Benghazi is false. Instead, a decision was made at the time to wait for more information about the situation on the ground and to see if local militia were available to coordinate a response.

No, the Border Patrol is not “thinly equipped.” Under President Obama, the amount of money and the number of agents provided for the Border Patrol has increased significantly.

The generalization that “neighborhoods have become more violent” is alarmist. Nationally, violent crimes have decreased steadily since the early 1990s.

No, Hillary Clinton does not support “open borders.” She supports a legal path to citizenship for many people who are established here but came illegally, and she has supported more funds for border control.

The generalization that “wages have fallen” is misleading. In June, they were higher than when Obama took office.

The labor force participation rate has not fallen because of immigration. It’s mainly down because of baby boomer retirements and because the increase in employment for women has stabilized.

There’s an adage: Be careful what you wish for. Now, especially, we need: Be careful what you listen to.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park

• • •

Donald Trump has said that he has “a very good group of people,” and apparently at least one of them is a very good (or bad — depending on your perspective) plagiarist.

Melania Trump’s liberal lifting from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech — if not verbatim, darn close — shows the utter cluelessness and incompetence of the Trump operation. And it highlights the prevailing absurdity of the current presidential campaign.

In a country of more than 300 million people, it is very telling that the two major-party candidates are so unpopular and seemingly unfit to hold the office they are pursuing. Is this really the best we can do?

It is fair to liken the current state of affairs to the Zombie Apocalypse so popular in the entertainment industry.

In the case of the Republican Party, years of appealing to the lowest common denominator among the electorate has yielded a takeover by the pitchfork-and-torch crowd. The elites who bankroll the operation no long have control over it.

As for the Democratic establishment, it has the same brain disorder as the Republican base. The Dem elites have decided that in order to follow proper succession, Hillary Clinton must be their presidential candidate. They are completely oblivious to the duplicity, arrogance and tone-deaf nature of the Clintons’ modus operandi, and how unappealing it is to the general electorate.

The final irony in all of this is that if the Republican Party had somehow managed to select John Kasich as its presidential nominee, in all likelihood it would have had a runaway victory in November. We’ll never know.

Gene Case, Andover


Thanks for a dose of wisdom on race relations, policing

I read the July 19 commentary by Robert L. Simon (“I’m a black cop. Here’s how recent events and reactions look to me,” July 19), and with each point he made, I found myself repeating to myself, “You’re right, I agree.” I hope I am not alone in my universal agreement with Mr. Simon’s views. Bundle up all he says, and it describes the difficulty of solving the problem: Too many people leading stakeholder organizations are off the track that will lead to peace.

Moreover, everyone needs to be prepared to accept sensible detailed explanations of case facts related to the use of force. Key details such as those Simon described in his examples of reasonable and unreasonable use of deadly force made it clear to me that the system needs some Solomon wisdom. I wish I knew where we could get it. I think Simon has that wisdom.

I appreciate his courage to speak up, and I believe all Minnesotans should be honored that we have such a qualified member of the Minnesota Army National Guard police unit.

Henry Spurrier, Shakopee

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Kudos to Simon. My large family is integrated, and the difference in perceptions about police officers is stark. White members think of police as friendly helpers. Black members (who live in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Forest Lake, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Rockville, Md.) are afraid or extremely nervous around police officers. They also face skepticism about those perceptions, just like Simon. All Americans need to walk in others’ shoes and read more about those personal experiences. We are never going to heal this country until we understand each other.

Judy Ryan Haaversen, Minneapolis