In reference to the article “Dialing down lockdown” (front page, May 14), it seems in the current political climate some have lost the concept of nuance. The governor is leading with the nuanced approach of dialing up our reopening of business in steps. There are those who would have us “flip a switch” and go right back to pre-pandemic times with little regard to health vs. profits.

Let’s not delude ourselves; we will not get back to the good old days anytime soon. When science and the guidance of experts dictate a nuanced, dial-up approach, both our collective physical and economic health should benefit. The pandemic came about over time and spread at an increasing rate. A recovery will take time as well, in degrees. The solution is not black and white, all or nothing, but rather nuanced — not triggered by fear and managed by science-backed judgments.

Dan Humes, St. Paul

• • •

I can’t believe it. The Mall of America is reopening June 1? (“Stores, malls will open hoping business returns,” May 15.)

Here in Big Stone County, on the western edge of the state, we’ve had two coronavirus cases. Our restaurants are still closed, a brutal problem for businesses that are closer to the edge than many larger enterprises and impossible to replace if closed. By and large, we’ve done the best we can with that because we also have a large vulnerable population, despite deep and growing economic pain.

We have had two cases in more than 500 square miles, and our restaurants are closed. But the Mall of America is opening?

The mind boggles.

Brent C. Olson, Ortonville, Minn.

• • •

I’m incredibly disappointed that Minnesota’s stay-at-home order is expiring today. We need it to be in place longer so people don’t get sick.

All measures so far have felt educated. This one does not. Gov. Tim Walz mentioned in the past that people should blame him if we don’t have enough testing. I will blame the governor when there is an increase in people getting sick and dying. More people will get sick really quickly because the order is being lifted — Georgia and Florida have proven that.

Reconsider letting this order expire. Literally, the lives of Minnesotans are counting on it.

I don’t want people to get sick and then have to be dependent on a ventilator.

Rachel Craig, St. Paul

• • •

After reading state Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s quote in “Dialing down lockdown” in Thursday’s Star Tribune, I really felt some pride in being a Minnesotan. His quote, “Now it’s up to us, you and me, that we practice safe distancing,” speaks to the Republican philosophy of personal accountability rather than government control, while Walz’s business closure and shelter-in-place orders speak to the Democratic philosophy that sometimes government knows what’s best for its citizens.

And throughout this trying time we didn’t hear snarky nicknames, demonizing of the other side or painting extreme positions for political points. The sense I got was two adults negotiating what was best for the state. In fact, this is a great example of both political philosophies working hand-in-glove ... and it warms my heart to see it. One Minnesota, eh?!

Mark Goldberg, Mound


He knows nothing of leadership

Thursday’s editorial regarding U.S. cooperation with the rest of the world on a COVID-19 vaccine said in conclusion, “It’s not too late for President Donald Trump to rise to the gravity of the crisis and position the country to provide leadership” (“Work with the world on vaccines”). Sure, it’s not too late, but it seems almost pathetic to think that a man who only knows how to sow discord will suddenly learn how to cooperate on the global stage. He may know how to put on a reality TV show where he is the center of attention, but he clearly knows nothing about leadership. And his disdain for science would be laughable if not for the thousands of lives that have been lost because of it.

Leadership would have been a national testing strategy, directing the production of supplies for the tests and ensuring that supplies and equipment for dealing with the crisis are distributed with fairness and utility. Trump did none of those things, and we deserve better.

Jim Cotner, St. Paul

• • •

Our stable genius (aka Trump) has once again hit upon a “common sense” solution to the COVID-19 pandemic: We should just stop testing. When you test more people, you are likely to find more positive cases. Well, it is hard to argue with that.

And if we stop reporting hospitalization rates and deaths as being caused by COVID-19 (let’s just call them “natural causes”) the pandemic disappears. That is so simple — why didn’t I think of that? It’s clear that I am not a stable genius.

Tom Baumann, Isanti, Minn.


It’s well beyond retirement age

There is some irony to the Star Tribune news story about the Supreme Court case regarding “faithless electors” (“Justices fear ‘chaos’ if states can’t bind or replace electors,” May 14). There are many misconceptions about the Electoral College.

No, the Electoral College wasn’t created to help the small states or protect us from big-state liberals. And it’s not about being faithful. It was created to ensure that voters didn’t get their way through “passion” and “mob rule.” Electors were to be “men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” (Whew, that sure worked out!)

Anyway, they could vote for anyone, not just the candidates. They clearly didn’t trust democracy — and maybe now we can all kind of see why.

In any event, the original concept went out the door after George Washington retired and turned into just another electoral, political and undemocratic knot that has tied our country up the last couple hundred years.

Time for it to go.

D. Roger Pederson, Minneapolis

• • •

The framers of the Constitution clearly spelled out in the Federalist Papers their concerns regarding undue influence by a potential con man or rich person over the uneducated or poor voters. The Electoral College was their answer. Electors were selected by the community for their knowledge, community standing and hope they would be able to separate a valid candidate from an incompetent or untrustworthy individual and vote for the one best suited for the presidency. Clearly the 2016 election showed that goal was not met.

If Electoral College presidential electors are bound by law to vote for the candidate with the most votes, then the Electoral College is no longer necessary or functioning as designed and should be disbanded. I had long supported doing away with the Electoral College, but the 2016 election changed my mind. As we see today, the selection of presidential electors by political parties who are bound to support whoever is their candidate, regardless of their qualifications or mental aptitude, did not protect us from an unscrupulous and unqualified candidate from becoming president.

Unless electors are free to exercise their judgment of the candidates and make their decisions on who they think is the best candidate, there is no reason to have the Electoral College. Anything else is an election by popular vote.

Dale Trippler, Blaine

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