Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.


I am an independent-minded voter who has, over the years, voted for Republicans, Democrats and third-party candidates, because I am more interested in a candidate's character and competence than party affiliation. As such, I am outraged by the possibility that Donald Trump might be re-elected in 2024, for a hundred reasons. But I am also disappointed by the possibility that Joe Biden might be re-elected in 2024 — the man would be 86 by the time he finishes a second term.

According to "Push is on to bar Trump from holding office" (Sept. 8), some Democrats want to resurrect an ancient and obscure law, aimed at Confederate Army veterans, to outlaw Trump's re-election. I'd like to offer the Democrats a different strategy: How about running an inspiring candidate who would make Americans want to vote Democrat?

John K. Trepp, Minneapolis


Thanks for printing the editorial from the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sept. 5 ("The president makes a comeback"). Come on, people! What do you need Biden to do? Walk on water? Please do not buy into the negative narrative of the far right/Trumpers. Biden has delivered on so many of our key agenda items: addressing climate change in a substantial way, reducing student debt, rebuilding our broken infrastructure, expanding Medicaid, lowering prescription drug prices, supporting the Ukraine against the horrific Russian invasion, keeping unemployment at a record low, lowering gas prices and finally imposing a minimum tax on large corporations! And he supports a woman's right to full reproductive health care. Yes, inflation hurts and it is hitting low- and middle-class people hard. But the president is doing whatever he can to pull the levers of the federal government to reduce its impact.

Let's be frank, Biden has a speech impediment and sometime verbally stumbles when he is searching for a word or works to avoid a stutter. I'll take this minor handicap of a courageous, ethical and dedicated leader who is committed to preserving our democracy over the flailing, outrageous, immoral and illegal efforts of an autocrat (and his enablers) who is hellbent on destroying the rule of law and regaining power at any cost. Remember what is really important when you vote on or before Nov. 8!

Catherine Victoria Jordan, Minneapolis


Doesn't that point go both ways?

Interesting thought by a recent letter writer (Readers Write, Sept. 7): "It is not the tyrant who is the greatest danger, but all those who stay silent and do not stand up to stop him." Isn't that basically the point Scott Jensen was trying to make when he referenced Nazi Germany in a statement about Gov. Tim Walz's mask mandate?

Jerry Mengelkoch, Corcoran


Albert Einstein told us that imagination encircles the world. Well, strap on your Gopher State helmet for a stroll down imagination lane.

Perhaps you imagine that our current governor is not wed to a hopelessly biased and inept teachers union. You just may be convinced that he plans to wisely spend tens of billions of your tax dollars in the best interest of all Minnesotans. Additionally, you feel that he is fighting to eliminate any further taxes on Social Security recipients.

If so, you may also believe that this governor, the Minneapolis mayor and his City Council are all working tirelessly to clean up the sewer that was once a proud and beautiful metropolis.

Should you now be nodding a vacuous yes to these fantasies, then by all means expand your horizons and put your absolute faith and trust in the FBI, Department of Justice, IRS and Santa.

Jon Swenson, St. Paul


Our state isn't that bad, actually

Despite the fact that so many people and politicians seem to want us all to believe that we live in a scary and dangerous place, it took me all of a couple of minutes to find that in 2020, according to FBI data, Minnesota was 38th state in the nation in terms of the rate of violent crimes (per 100,000 people), which is the 13th lowest nationwide and also the lowest rate in the Midwest. Of our neighbors, Iowa came in at 34th, Wisconsin was 31st, North Dakota was 30th and South Dakota was a dismal ninth. Alaska, New Mexico, Tennessee, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota and Michigan were all in the top 10 in terms of violent crime.

In terms of firearm mortality (includes murder and suicide), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021 we had 8.9 deaths by firearm per 100,000 people, Iowa had 11.2, Wisconsin had 12.2, North Dakota had 13.8 and South Dakota 13.6. Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming all broke the 20-per-100,000 rate.

While every one of these crimes and suicides is tragic, how about we do our research before we bellow on and on about how dangerous it is here in Minnesota? It's good to know that we have safer streets than all of our neighboring states.

Luke Soiseth, Lake St. Croix Beach


Practicality prevails

A good compromise has been reached ("Hiawatha course to shrink to 9 holes," Sept. 8). The water problems around the course had to be dealt with and the golfers will have nine good holes to be proud of. Want to play 18? Play the nine twice. Two different sets of tees will work.

As a golfer who has avoided the course because of terrible conditions on some holes, I look forward to playing nine there.

Mike McDonald, St. Paul


We could use a few more people

Crisis on the border? ("This can't go on," Readers Write, Sept. 2.) Dana Summers' Thursday cartoon says it all: One character says at a restaurant, "They're still short on help?" And a nearby sign says to "Seat yourself; get a menu; cook your food; bus your table; pay robot." It should not take much thought to see the solution. With signs shouting "We're hiring!" and "Help wanted" everywhere like garage sale signs and political campaign signs, I'm thinking some of the people wanting to enter the United States could be a solution, not a fear-mongered "crisis"!

Wanda Jacobsen, St. Joseph, Minn.


A standing ovation for summer

Summer, you've been a great one. I loved the best of you — your early morning light, high-in-the-sky noontime radiance, lingering sunsets and juicy, humid nights. Your deep, rumbling thunder and dousing rains. Your breeziness, luscious green and blingy flower shows. The sounds of kids' voices across the water as they float in canoes and the shrieks of hitting a cool lake. The snake snuggled in the warmth of the gravel road, motionless. The fawn curled up on a woodland trail, mom nearby warning of her presence. Frogs so loud at night we had to shout and flickering fireflies that stilled our chatter. Darting dragonflies, whizzing hummingbirds, floating butterflies. Honeybees on their daily rounds, and owls hooting in the darkness. Baby birds taking flight, and the flapping of wings in the birdbath. Your still nights when the leaves hang motionless.

Thanks for the seasonal finale of northern lights. Way to go!

Hello autumn, it's your turn.

Catherine Stoch, Fort Ripley, Minn.