The Star Tribune's Oct. 9 editorial suggesting that Donald Trump must leave the presidential race was wrong for three important reasons:
First, the majority of Republican primary voters selected Trump, and his departure, voluntary or forced, would dismiss their voice. He is the candidate of the GOP, and all voters deserve the chance to express their opinion in the general election.
Next, the process to replace Trump is clumsy at best. The Republican National Committee selection procedure would be time-consuming; each state has distinct regulations regarding ballot inclusion, and early voting has begun in many states. Lawsuits by disgruntled voters would be inevitable.
Finally, no other potential Republican candidate has been vetted sufficiently for the presidency, and it cannot occur in a few weeks. That especially is true for Mike Pence, the alternative most frequently mentioned. Careful analysis of his experience in Congress and as governor of Indiana is critical. Voters must look carefully at his record on civil liberties, education, foreign relations, trade, criminal justice, voting rights, climate change, and health issues, including reproductive rights. As second on the GOP ticket, he has not been asked to articulate and defend his positions. We simply do not know enough.
Donald Trump is a loathsome, unqualified candidate, but replacing him less than a month from Election Day is untenable and ill-advised.
Phil George, Lakeville
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Trump is the Republican choice. Knowing exactly who he was, Republican leaders from Paul Ryan to Ted Cruz to John McCain endorsed him, as well as a significant portion of the Republican electorate. And now, after more than a year of near daily proof of Trump's ignorance and misogyny and everything else you can label this fool, this newspaper thinks the Republican Party should get a pass in the final hour? Toss some new name into the ring without a year's worth of campaigning, with no daily evisceration by the news media, no digging into every possible wrongdoing, every vote, past tax returns, spouse's history, possible conflicts of interest, business dealings, policy flip-flops? Need I go on?
The Star Tribune Editorial Board has decided that Hillary Clinton, who has withstood everything thrown at her for this past year, deserves only to have an opponent with a better chance to beat her.
The Republican Party has shown its true colors over this past year. And I have to end this diatribe, because all I can see is red.
Mary Alice Divine, White Bear Lake
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Donald Trump must not leave the race. He is a symbol of a movement made up of the largely ignored middle class, which the elites of both parties despise and fear. Let the voters decide. By the way, I don't remember the Star Tribune calling for Bill Clinton to leave the White House.
Chris Levy, Minneapolis
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While I agree with the editorial's conclusion that Trump should drop out, I feel a lack of compelling reasons why. Yes, his absence from the race would give the voting public a chance to consider issues and to choose based on those issues and not scandals. But Trump's attitude toward women is not simply a disgusting scandal, or a personal perspective.
A man who sees women as dogs or sex toys is hardly in a position to give them fair consideration in the congressional bills he proposes or supports. Trump's attitudes disadvantage all women. Since he views only men as first-class citizens, he should not be a candidate to lead all the people of this nation.
Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis
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After roughly 48 hours of hearing seemingly every politician in the country condemn Trump, I actually listened to the entire recording, which lasts approximately three minutes. Yes, Trump uttered the lines we've all heard repeatedly, but what hasn't been reported is the tone in which they were made or the fact they were part of a much longer conversation between Trump and Billy Bush. Like two buddies sitting in a bar, at a ballgame or in a locker room, they were lightheartedly discussing attractive women who happened to be walking near the bus.
Trump described pursuing a married woman but being rebuffed. He said he is attracted to beautiful women like a "magnet," and when that happens he wants to walk up and just kiss them. He lightheartedly tells Bush that if he sees a beautiful woman, he just wants to make a move, using the now-infamous reference to grabbing her genitalia. For critics to suggest Trump described or advocated sexual assault is absurd. He was stating that he has a penchant for beautiful women, a fact he's never downplayed.
I'm not defending Trump; I'm defending a person's right to have a private, casual conversation. From the beginning of time, people have had private discussions about dating, sex, etc. Those conversations often include R-rated language.
Should a young man who is now in college fear engaging in banter with his friends for fear it might be recorded on a cellphone and used against him 30 years from now if he decides to run for president? Should a single woman who happens to hold public office fear discussing her attraction to certain people with a co-worker on the off-chance an audio recording is being made of it that could be used to derail her career years later?
Jay Gabbert, Plymouth
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Here is what happens when a woman "lets you" touch her:
Nerves react, sending panic throughout the body. Muscles tense. The heart pounds. Breathing is difficult. The brain collects all this information so that later she can wake up in the night, remembering the sight, sound and smell of you. She will not get back to sleep.
She can't move when you touch her. Shock, disgust and anger are paralyzing. But later in the night she will lie awake, rewriting the scene. Maybe she speaks, maybe she runs, or maybe she stands and defends herself.
The most difficult thing to rewrite will be the lesson she has learned. She is nothing. She is worthless. She has no rights, even to the boundaries of her own body.
Unwanted touch is an abuse of power. You should not be given the most powerful job in the country.
Sue Telander, Bloomington
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No self-respecting woman should vote for Trump.
Eunice Hafemeister, Minneapolis
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A message to men: If you have ever loved a woman, you cannot vote for Donald Trump.
Joan Hilden, Minneapolis
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To: Black Lives Matter.
From: An old white man.
When you marched, I heard what you said.
When you marched, I did not understand what you said.
"Sexual violence is the use of sexual actions and words that are unwanted by and/or harmful to another person. Sexual violence is violence using sex. Sometimes the terms 'sexual abuse' and 'sexual assault' are used to refer to sexual violence." (Definition of sexual violence, Minnesota Department of Health.)
In June, a jury will decide if Bill Cosby should go to jail for committing sexual violence.
In November, voters will decide if Donald Trump should be president of the United States.
Now I understand.
Charles Breit, Spring Lake Park