Every Friday morning, my 92-year-old Democratic-leaning father has breakfast with “the guys,” all of whom are unapologetically Republican, although they do feel they need to apologize for President Donald Trump. These guys simply cannot and will not vote for Trump in the upcoming election. I ask my dad, “Who will they vote for?” He tells me that they have agreed that they would all vote for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, that Sen. Bernie Sanders “scares them to death” (“Sanders grabs win in N.H.,” front page, Feb. 12). So, if we Democrats nominate Bernie as our candidate, will these guys stay home, or vote for Trump, or hold their noses and vote for Bernie? I’m pretty sure they will stay home or vote for Trump.
I agree with so many of Bernie’s beliefs and policies, and I wish he could have the opportunity to carry out his vision. But now is not the time to put an ultraliberal Democrat against the sitting president. These guys sitting at the breakfast counter in midwest Wisconsin, along with other disaffected Trump voters, will never vote for Sanders, and we’ll be left with this despicable president for four more years.
MARTHA WEGNER, St. Paul
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Klobuchar’s New Hampshire performance demonstrates that she can win this election for our country. A combination of experience, savvy, grit, resilience and “Minnesota nice” should put Trump in the history pamphlets where he belongs. Her “salad moments” are behind her. Most voters will view that old story as a minor indiscretion compared to the myriad travesties in our current administration. Substance matters in our state, and she has it.
Running third in a long race is a very sound bet. Make it.
Ken Klein, North Oaks
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I really have to chuckle when I read news reports of Klobuchar going up in the ratings because she is so moderate.
Wasn’t she a cosponsor of the Green New Deal who voted to impeach Trump when he committed no crimes? If this isn’t enough, she supports and defends anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar and the new socialist leaders in Congress.
Bob Maginnis, Edina
Employers, don’t copy White House
It is ridiculously irresponsible for a letter writer to defend President Donald Trump’s treatment of the Vindman brothers as a “practical, fully justified, human-resources move” (“Reassignment, not punishment,” Feb. 12). As every HR professional and employment lawyer knows, demoting or even merely transferring an employee because the employee testified, under subpoena, in a manner that the employer finds displeasing will almost always expose the employer to liability for retaliation. This is particularly true when the demotion or transfer is accompanied by public statements from the employee’s superiors confirming the employer’s retaliatory motive — for example, gratuitous statements that the employee was insubordinate, had poor judgment, and deserved to be fired because of the testimony.
I certainly hope there are no employers out there who share the letter writer’s attitude of “ ‘so what’ in terms of legalities,” or who might be tempted to follow his advice.
Marc Berg, St. Louis Park
What luck! A vanishing sentence
In what world is it OK for a president to interfere with the sentence of a felon (that was already light to begin with) simply because the felon is a friend? (“ DOJ revolt over leniency for Trump pal,” front page, Feb. 12). This is not about Republican vs. Democrat.
This is a president who has clearly bypassed all checks and balances of power upon which our Constitution has been built. Enough is enough! People need to condemn this behavior.
Shannon Bros, Eagan
Let’s mandate ancient tech, too
Thanks for Thomas Fisher’s take on President Donald Trump’s latest folly (“Draft order on buildings is Classical mistake,” Opinion Exchange, Feb. 12). It hits the right balance of history and mockery.
For enhanced silliness, let’s require the military to return to flintlock rifles; so much more attractive than the AR-15. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Veterans Affairs hospitals will need to begin cultivating leeches for bleeding. Hand-dug privies out back would eliminate Trump’s concerns about flushing 15 times.
Sadly, Trump’s Mexican wall would appear to be exempt; no Doric order on the border.
For those of a certain age, it brings to mind that old Pepsodent toothpaste jingle: “You’ll wonder where your money went / when you add a useless pediment.”
What this country really needs is a net-zero-energy policy for all its buildings, not net-zero-value cosmetics.
William Beyer, St. Louis Park
The writer is a past president of the American Institute of Architects Minnesota.
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Conspicuous by its absence in Fisher’s commentary is reference to his notable affiliation with and advocacy of modern architecture as the distinguished former editorial director of “Progressive Architecture” magazine. His writing was thought-provoking since the best of modern, innovative architecture can be inspiring on the one hand. On the other, during a recent visit to Washington, D.C., I was awe-struck by the grandeur of an avenue of classical, monumental architecture, triumphant in the rays of sunlight through the atmosphere of a beautiful day, reminiscent of the best of Rome and my Italian ancestors.
We need opportunities to experience the best of the best in all areas of architecture, design and art, whether classical or modern — or something else. I respect Fisher’s opinion and I would like to see others weigh in on this matter.
Patrick Michael Redmond, St. Paul
Fiction can help us navigate this
It is time to republish science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics.” With slight modification, these laws should be applied to self-driving automobiles (“Can morally ethical self-driving cars exist?” Opinion Exchange, Feb. 11).
First Law: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
Second Law: “A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.”
Third Law: “A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.”
The Three Laws have pervaded science fiction and are referred to in many books, films and other media. The laws have impacted thought on ethics of artificial intelligence as well. In fictional stories, Asimov created conflicting situations for robots that seemed destined to ensure the destruction of the robot ... but the robot finds a way out without violating the three laws. Let’s hope our automated cars enjoy equal success.
P.S. There was a time when people feared “self operating” elevators. Now age 80, I lived during the transition. Remember the “elevator starter girl” directing traffic at busy department store elevators? Now we don’t give it a thought.
S. Steve Adkins, Lakeville
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