A Dec. 10 letter writer stated the reason conservatives continue to support President Donald Trump is because they are against progressive policies and want their conservative agendas passed. The writer even admitted that Trump’s supporters “aren’t blind to [his] outrageous characteristics,” referring to Trump as a “temporary outrageous leader” with a “combative style.” The writer claims to be mystified by people’s rejection of such a man as our leader.
The rest of us are mystified by supposedly religious conservatives’ acceptance of such a person as the leader of our country when an obvious solution is right in front of them. Why aren’t conservatives in favor of Trump being impeached (or better yet, resigning the presidency) so a much more decent human being, Vice President Mike Pence, can take over? Republicans would still have someone who would forward their agenda, but without all the arrogance, narcissism, childishness, inarticulacy and other miscellaneous bad behavior.
Progressives may not agree with Pence on policy, but they have to admit he’s a much better man than Trump.
Carla Christopherson, Brainerd, Minn.
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A Dec. 10 letter writer suggested that “Trump supporters ... are devoted conservatives and, appropriately, refuse to permanently forsake their heartfelt policy preferences in exchange for stamping out a temporary outrageous leader who supports most of those important ideals.”
That might be a believable argument if there had been no other Republican leaders who would have supported those ideals running for president in 2016, and if Republicans in four states had not already made plans to ban Trump challengers from their states’ primaries in the 2020 race.
Sally Thomas, Edina
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There is something wrong with the U.S. Constitution and our political system when a majority party can unilaterally vote to impeach a president. I am certain the founding fathers never considered that elected officials would be more loyal to their party than they are to their country.
Taken to an extreme, if the majority party controlled both the House and the Senate, its members could unilaterally vote all on their own to impeach and remove from office both the president and the vice president. That act would install the majority party’s own House speaker as the new president without ever having an election. Based on the current trend, that is the course that could affect all future presidents not part of the majority party.
It is a sad state for our country and appears to be the instrument that could end our republic.
Mike Gerkin, Apple Valley
To some, its existence is the issue
In her commentary, Mary Christine Bader brilliantly illustrates the hypocrisy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement by lamenting the allegedly undue attention paid to Israel ... while at the same time repeatedly advocating for a boycott specific to Israel, the world’s only Jewish state (“Do state politicians belong in the Mideast?” Opinion Exchange, Dec. 9). As always, the real objection is not that politicians pay attention to Israel, but that they legitimize its very existence, something those like Ms. Bader will never come to accept.
France’s National Assembly declared last week that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, reflecting a mainstream view held by the vast majority of Jews (American or otherwise). Perhaps it is Ms. Bader who should be listening.
Judah Druck, St. Louis Park
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Many thanks to Bader for her pitch-perfect and perfectly targeted eloquence. Minnesota’s anti-BDS law is an affront to the First Amendment and to all who revere it. Legislators, repeal this outrage!
This topic brings to mind the courage of presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has displayed the integrity, American Israel Public Affairs Committee notwithstanding, to speak truth regarding our client state that feeds at the U.S. taxpayers’ trough to the tune of $3.8 billion annually.
The two-state solution is as dead as former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and friends long ago swore to render it. The time is now to commence a rapid transition to a single secular state, with liberty and justice for all within it.
Darryl G. Carter, Minneapolis
Death, lies and squandered funds
Our government lied to us about the reasons for invading Vietnam and the progress of that war. Our government lied to us about the reasons for invading Iraq and the progress of that war. And now we learn that our government lied to us about the reasons for invading Afghanistan and the progress of that war (“U.S. lied about Afghan war, documents reveal,” front page, Dec. 10). We learned the truth about Vietnam while watching our personnel evacuated by helicopter from a roof; it only took a few weeks to learn the truth about Iraq; and now 18 years and still stuck there, we learn the truth about Afghanistan.
Along the way, we’ve lost tens of thousands of American lives (with several times that many wounded), and wasted trillions of dollars (whatever number you’ve heard, the real number is more). Besides the Pentagon (where lying is part of the workers’ jobs, I guess), we’ve been lied to by Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. That’s three Democrats and three Republicans, if you’re keeping score.
Anybody see a pattern here?
John K. Trepp, Minneapolis
HEALTH CARE COSTS
This market is not like the others
Seema Verma, Trump’s Medicare chief, wants us to think patients are just like cars and hospitals just like car dealers (“Greater cost transparency is coming; it’s sorely needed,” Dec. 9). She makes this absurd comparison to convince us that President Donald Trump’s price-transparency campaign will reduce America’s $3.6 trillion health care bill. “Imagine buying a car without knowing the price,” she says.
Trump recently ordered hospitals to post the price of 300 “shoppable” services and insurance companies to post the “negotiated prices” of “all covered health care items and services.” I look forward to the embarrassment this will cause the secretive insurance and hospital industries. But because patients are not like cars, Trump’s “price transparency” order will do little to reduce health care costs.
The most important difference is that patients enter hospitals in very different states of health, whereas car buyers do not enter car dealerships with equally heterogenous “car needs.” With the exception of “unbundled” services like mammograms and MRIs, no one can accurately predict any particular patient’s “price” — the final bill — until all medically necessary services have been rendered. This is especially true of the most expensive diseases. Imagine posting an accurate “price” for, say, stroke rehabilitation or treatment of cancer or Alzheimer’s.
Trump and Verma must also explain how they propose to protect hospitals that serve an above-average proportion of the sick and the uninsured. Those hospitals will have to post higher prices. If “price transparency” works as advertised, it will drive patients away from safety-net hospitals.
Kip Sullivan, Minneapolis
Listen to understand, not agree
Kudos to R.T. Rybak for his Dec. 10 essay “Today’s politics require us to compartmentalize.” I, too, feel parts of the country are “slipping away,” not necessarily from my own point of view but rather from the whole idea of a “United” States. And I, too mourn what is happening. Rather than “compartmentalize,” as the headline suggests, I focus on this sentence toward the end of the essay: “We can, however, try to understand how each of us feels.”
We don’t have to agree with someone to be able to listen to them. We only have to be quiet every once in a while.
Judith Koll Healey, Minneapolis
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