How was President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power not front-page news in Thursday's Star Tribune? (It was buried on Page 7: "Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power.") How have the Star Tribune and other media not called more attention to the avalanche of dirty tricks and voter-suppression tactics being deployed by the GOP? This is testimony to just how numb the media has become to Trump's behavior. His strategy of saturating the news with a constant stream of outrageous behavior is working. It's like being repeatedly hit in the head with a hammer until we no longer feel anything. Sorry, but the Star Tribune and other media are failing in their responsibility to protect our democracy.

Steven M. Pine, Hopkins
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Having listened and heard the president rant about the "disaster" of the ballots in the current election, he should be reminded that a "disaster" is a hurricane, a tornado or a pandemic! Not a perfectly legal and time-honored ballot cast in an election. No matter his strong opinion.

Marilyn R. Rundberg, Bloomington
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At what point do you start ignoring some of Trump's ridiculous rhetoric instead of giving it life with blaring headlines and six-member panel discussions?

Trump has always enjoyed saying things to get people riled up, whether it's politics, as a business mogul or reality show host. He loves watching the masses scurry about under the thunder of his words and tweets.

Through his remarkably slimy career as a real estate tycoon, the disease and rot he brought to the table affected a much smaller group of people: business owners, workers and his personal relationships. Now it's affecting the entire world. Every hour of every day. Fouling our eyes and ears with verbal slop.

Most people would rather not be going through all this right now. Beyond the pandemic, unrecognizable economy and racial tensions, there's a self-absorbed bigot in the White House who stirs the pot like a 5-year-old brat who doesn't think he's getting enough attention.

Stop paying attention to Trump. Attention is the fuel that keeps him alive.

Due to Trump's position in the world, there are many things he lobs out there that cannot be ignored. But in this "new normal" of instant news and social media, can we take just one moment to decide if his latest hourly tweet or random comment is worth even an acknowledgment?

As a brain-driven society, we have to decide what is important ... and what are merely the ramblings of a man who loves the sound of his own voice.

Bick Smith, Oakdale
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I agree — for the sake of the nation we should all agree to accept the legal results of this election and demand the same from both political parties ("Agree now to play by the rules," Readers Write, Sept. 24). However, to say that if Trump is re-elected that it means the majority of voters disagree with the Democrats' political opinions is false. Trump did not win the popular vote in 2016 and likely won't win it again in 2020 — even if he wins re-election. Our system for electing a president does not necessarily represent the majority of voters.

Gary Selton, Prior Lake
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A Sept. 24 letter writer challenged Democrats to agree to accept the legal results of the election if Trump is re-elected. As a Democrat who is supporting my party's candidates by letter writing, calling voters and donating money, I can certainly take that pledge. Every Democrat I know will live with the outcome of a free and fair election. I do, however, reject the idea that Democrats and Republicans have equal reasons to be concerned that the other party will accept their candidate as the president after the election. Joe Biden has said he will accept full election results that count every vote. Trump, meanwhile, has said that the only way he will lose is if the election is "rigged," and he has refused to say whether or not he will agree to a peaceful transition of power if he loses. Thus, I think it is more likely that Trump voters may have to chose between honoring the results of the election and their candidate's will if he loses.

I'm confident that the vast majority of Americans believe in our democracy and will play by the rules no matter the outcome. We are not as divided as the pundits and politicians make us out to be.

Jean Boler, St. Paul
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Recently someone keyed my car and defaced my "Love Trumps Hate" bumper sticker. I put it on my car in 2016 as a gentle statement of my political and emotional views. I admit that I might grit my teeth when I see a sticker that I don't agree with, but I don't damage it. I don't even glare at the driver whose vehicle sports it. It's not because I'm a "good" person but because I'm part of a democracy where I know we disagree. I'm part of a democracy where we work for what we believe in, where we believe deeply in our positions, where we campaign hard, and where we know that others are also believing strongly and campaigning hard. Please, I plead for a recommitment to democracy, to respecting people who disagree with us. Whatever our political preferences, our most important work in this election is to keep faith in our principles and in each other. Please.

Annette Atkins, Minneapolis

More market-rate housing, please!

As a resident of Minneapolis' Hawthorne neighborhood, I agree with the Sept. 18 commentary "City's inequality is a deliberate policy choice" (Opinion Exchange). The ongoing practice of public officials and policymakers concentrating poverty in designated neighborhoods continues today. In the past decade in the 55411 ZIP code, not enough market-rate rental housing has been built, only subsidized affordable housing. Many Hawthorne residents wish for the amenities most other neighborhoods enjoy. Only when a neighborhood has a range of housing options will it be stable and healthy. Mixed-income, mixed-use units with amenities should be the focus of new housing development.

By restricting housing for a neighborhood to only low-income projects, the persistent effect is that we segregate residents into certain neighborhoods with few businesses operating and few job opportunities. This is a vicious cycle that the Minneapolis Planning Commission must be mindful of as it makes decisions where low income housing is to be placed in the city.

Susan Pilarski, Minneapolis

The vestiges of summer

Today the sky is a pale blue, as if nature had borrowed the color from the shell of a robin's egg in spring and used it to repaint her ceiling this first day of autumn. Sunlight bounces back gently off nearby brick buildings and highlights the upper flip of green leaves on trees, trusting enough to stay and sway just outside my window.

The easy drift of this soft September midmorning is made mellow by the mellifluous humming of a fan, expediting a balmy breeze across the room to myself, sitting at my desk exploring the keyboard's reach with every touch.

Summer has just closed her shiny season and in this, the year of the plague, we have been moved to fall and the time to prepare for the year's darker, shorter, colder days ahead.

I had envisioned a slower, lonelier summer with the confinement suggested by the COVID. Instead reading, learning and walking have sped time along and described for me a blissful season of easy exploration.

All the words I was lucky enough to encounter brought out ideas, and ideas are what I love best — especially with time to muse. And this pretty pearl of a day is lending itself to those — ideas, spinning me on in a breezy swirl into autumn and summer's passing.

Don Anderson, Minneapolis

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